BOONE, N.C. – Belmont University men's soccer fell 3-0 to Appalachian State on Monday afternoon from Ted Mackorell Stadium.
The match was aggressive from the start, with both teams trying to stifle any momentum of the other side. Appalachian State blasted the first shot of the day for either side in the 8'. Sophomore Nicolo Dini (Settala, Italy) made an impressive diving save to keep the Mountaineers off the board.
Moments later, things started to get a little more difficult for the Bruins, when Belmont was forced to play with just 10 men after a challenge just outside the 18-yard line prevented what the referee determined as a clear scoring opportunity for App State.
The Mountaineers took advantage of a short-handed Belmont team and scored in the 13' to take a 1-0 lead. The Bruins seemed to find their footing from there, and put together several scoring opportunities in the next few minutes.
Senior Tony Doellefeld (St. Louis, Mo.) and sophomore Matteo Bennati (Genova, Italy) both blasted shots that were just off frame. Freshman Daniel Twizer (Haifa, Israel) also gave the Mountaineers defense problems, rocketing two shots. He put one on frame. forcing the App State keeper to make a save to keep the Bruins from equalizing.
Shortly before the end of the first half, Belmont lost another player from yellow card accumulation, forcing the Bruins to play 11 v 9 for the remainder of the match.
After the halftime break, the Mountaineers went on the attack early, but Dini was up to the challenge. Dini was forced off his line in the 58' and 59' and made beautiful saves in both instances to keep the hosts from increasing their lead.
But after defending well for so long, Belmont allowed a second App State tally in the 61'; a strike from nearly 20 yards out which skipped into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The Mountaineers added an insurance goal 10 minutes later.
The Bruins finished the match with five shots and six corner kicks. Dini made six saves.
Belmont will hit the pitch for its first home match of the season Saturday, Sept. 8 against San Diego. Kickoff is slated for 12:00 p.m. CT from E.S. Rose Park.