GREENSBORO, N.C. – Belmont University Men's Soccer played to a double overtime 2-2 draw with UNC Greensboro on Saturday night. Freshman Ares Marlonsson's (Denver, Colo.) second half brace and BU's eight shots on goal propelled the Bruins to an important road result in its Southern Conference debut match.
Saturday's match was a tale of two halves. After scoring in the sixth minute off a quick corner kick to take an early 1-0 lead, the first frame was dominated by the Spartans. UNCG struck again in the 37th minute to take a 2-0 lead before the halftime break. The Bruins' offense in the first half came from freshman Niccolo Dagnoni (Milan, Italy) who had the side's only two shots of the half.
The Bruins came out of halftime with a vengeance, putting offensive pressure on the Spartans' back line. In the opening minute of the second half, senior Adam Voloder (New South Wales, Australia) made a run and put an early shot on target that forced a UNCG save.
With momentum in its favor, the Bruins cut the Spartans' lead in half in the 52nd minute. Marlonsson took a cross from sophomore Nigel Leo (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) that he sent pass the right side of the keeper.
With an important road result on the line, Belmont buckled down and found an equalizer late in the match. In the 81st minute, Marlonsson scored his second goal of the match that was assisted by sophomore Matteo Bennati (Genova, Italy) who played a beautiful through ball.
After nine more minutes of scoreless play, the two teams would head into a golden-goal overtime period. The Bruins attacked early in the first overtime period, nearly netting a winner just 15 seconds into the period when Voloder nearly chipped in a goal over the keeper, but it went just wide. UNCG had a good opportunity to put the game away in the 92nd minute, but what would be the game-winner flew wide left.
Neither team was able to score in the first overtime period, so the game went into a second overtime. Belmont had its best look of overtime in the 108th minute when sophomore Nick Kramer (Lancaster, Pa.) rocketed a shot from nearly 20-yards out. The UNCG keeper was able to get a good jump on the shot and made the save. The two squads would ultimately play to a 2-2 draw after 110 minutes of soccer.
Belmont keeper Nicolo Dini (Settala, Italy) was a key player in Belmont's draw, making six saves on the evening. Belmont's offense was extremely efficient on Saturday night, putting eight of its 11 shots on target.
The Bruins will be back in action Tuesday, October 9 to take on SoCon opponent Furman. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. CT at E.S. Rose Park.