DETROIT, Mich. – The Belmont University men's soccer team fell 4-0 to the Detroit Mercy Titans on a blistery Saturday afternoon at Titan Field.
The Bruins looked to have a good chance early in the match when, in the 15th minute, sophomore Creaghan Diekema (Grand Rapids, Mich.) made a great offensive play to break through several Detroit defenders, but was dispossessed by the last Titan defender before he could get a shot off.
The Titans netted the first goal of the match in the 17th minute. Dalton Amez played a ball from near midfield to Spiro Pliakos who charged past the Belmont defender and booted one to the right of junior Alex Seeley (Longmont, Colo.) who was charging from his line.
Minutes later in the 25th minute, a long throw by the Titans was headed out of the box by freshman Itzik Efraim (Even Sapir, Jerusalem) but Titan Adam Clauss booted the ball back into the box to the feet of Matt Devries who was waiting at the right post and slid the ball past Seeley to put Detroit up 2-0.
The Bruins conceded the third goal of the match just two minutes later when the Titans played a through ball into the box where Tyler Moorman beat the Belmont defense and directed the ball inside the right goalpost.
Seeley kept the score 3-0 before heading into the locker room after making two critical saves in the remaining minutes of the first stanza.
In the 30th minute, Belmont freshman Esteban Lestido (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) was called for a push in the box, awarding the Titans a penalty kick. Pliakos, who netted the first goal of the match, took the shot, but Seeley dove to the right and blocked the shot. Efraim was there to boot the rebound out of harm's way.
Freshman Nigel Leo (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) put the only shot on frame of the match for the Bruins in the 35th minute, but Detroit's keeper was there to make the save.
Detroit's Miri Mohamed once again broke down the Bruins' back line in the 38th minute and put another shot on goal, but Seeley made another crucial save to keep the score 3-0.
Heading into the locker room, Belmont had three shots to Detroit's eight. Five of the Titan's shots were on frame while Belmont only put one on frame.
Nicolo Dini (Settala, Italy) would defend the Belmont goal coming out of the locker room. The freshman keeper saw action in the early season match against Niagara, making four saves and allowing one goal during that match.
In the 59th minute, Demetri Pliakos played a ball from the left side into the box where Tyler Moorman was waiting. Moorman finished the ball to the left of Dini for his second goal of the afternoon and increased the Detroit lead 4-0.
Dini made his first save of the afternoon in the 57th minute, denying Pliakos of another goal. Dini picked up another save after a Titan got a head on a free kick, but the ball was easily handled by the Belmont keeper.
"Today's match was a lesson in college soccer that intensity and work is king," Said Head Coach Bryan Green. "Detroit worked us all over the field and we couldn't match it. Any time an opponent outworks you it will be difficult, and when you play a good team with good scorers like Detroit it is even tougher. We are a work in progress and this is a tough lesson for us, but hopefully it will prove to be a very useful lesson."
Belmont ultimately fell 4-0 to the Titans after being outshot 15 to four. The Bruins will be back in action Saturday September 30th at Cleveland State. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m.