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Mercer Preview

Mercer Preview

MACON, Ga. – The Belmont Bruins hit the road to Macon for the first time in nearly a decade to take on the Mercer Bears (9-6-0, 1-3-0 SoCon) Thursday. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT at Betts Stadium. 


The Halloween night contest is a makeup of the Oct. 19. match that was previously postponed.

The previous Atlantic Sun rivals will meet for the second-ever time in Southern Conference play, as the Bears lead the all-time series by a 9-6-1 margin. 

The Bruins (3-9-2, 1-2-1 SoCon) and Mercer most recently met last season, when the Bears logged a 3-1 victory in Nashville. Forward Liam O'Brien's first collegiate goal in the 22nd minute was not enough to lift Belmont over Mercer in 2018. 

In their last four regular season away matchups with the Bears, the Bruins hold a 2-1-1 advantage.

LAST TIME OUT: Belmont fell to the ETSU Buccaneers in double overtime 1-0 at E.S. Rose Park Tuesday night. The Buccaneers logged a 107th-minute sudden death goal on a corner kick to notch the win.

The Bruins were led offensively by the junior duo of midfielder Esteban Lestido and defender Marius Svendsen, who meshed for four shots and two shots on goal. In total, Belmont saw shots from eight different players on the evening. 

SCOUTING MERCER: The Bears are led by head coach Brad Ruzzo, who is the second-most tenured coach in the Southern Conference (12 years). Mercer carries a 101-90-26 record under Ruzzo, as the Bears most recently made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017. 

Mercer currently holds a 9-6-0 record, as it was shutout by UNC Greensboro in its fourth Southern Conference bout of the year by a score of 2-0. After shooting out to a 7-2-0 start to the 2019 season, the Bears have dropped four out of their last six matches.

DÉJÀ VU: Including exhibitions, Mercer and the Bruins have played four of the same non-conference opponents this year. Both teams have met Bradley, Memphis, Georgia State and Presbyterian this season. 

TRICK OR TREAT: Belmont's last Halloween match came against the VMI Keydets in the first round of the 2018 Southern Conference Men's Soccer Championship. The Bruins tallied a 2-1 win in that matchup for their first-ever Southern Conference tournament victory.

BACK IN THE PEACH STATE: Belmont will be making its second trip to the state of Georgia on Thursday, as they previously took on Georgia State in Atlanta earlier this season. For the first time in over 10 years, the Bruins will play two road matches in the Peach State in the same season.

FOLLOW THE BRUINS: Thursday's tilt will not contain a live stream but can be tracked via live stats.

UP NEXT: Belmont will finish out its regular season and Southern Conference slate against the Furman Paladins Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT  at Eugene Stone Soccer Stadium. The Bruins then prepare for the 2019 Southern Conference Men's Soccer Championships, which begin on Nov. 5.