MACON, Ga. – The Belmont Bruins fell 2-0 to the Mercer Bears Thursday night at Five Star Stadium. The Bears logged late goals in the first and second half to notch the Southern Conference victory at home.
Four different Bruins tallied shots on the night, as sophomore forward Ares Marlonsson's shot on goal in the 43rd minute nearly gave Belmont a first-half lead.
Freshman defender/midfielder Ousman Bajang found the back of the net in the 45th minute for Mercer, as the Bears struck again in the 76th minute to round out the evening.
It took Mercer nearly 15 minutes to fire a shot on goal, as sophomore netminder Cameron Petty corralled the attempt. The sturdy Bruins defense allowed only one shot for the remainder of the 45 minutes.
Belmont was on the verge of taking a 43rd-minute lead, as Marlonsson's fourth shot on goal of the season was stopped by the Bears. Mercer responded just moments later, when Jabang scored in the dwindling seconds of the first half to give the Bears a 1-0 advantage.
The Bruins saw a chance to retaliate just 30 seconds removed from Jabang's goal but were unable to tally an equalizer on their first corner kick of the match.
In total, Mercer drew four offsides calls entering the half, as the two teams split the corner kick battle at one apiece.
The Bears sent a total of four shots in 10 minutes to open the second half, with only one finding the mitts of Petty. Belmont's 62nd-minute corner attempt nearly proved deadly, but junior defender Marius Svendsen's ninth shot of the season fell just off target.
Mercer doubled its lead in the final goal of the evening in the 76th minute. Sophomore forward Niccolo Dagnoni answered one minute later with his first shot of the contest, as it failed to connect with the net.
Junior defender Jordan Dozzi wrapped up the match with a shot of his own, as it deflected off the body of a Mercer defender as time ran out.
NUMBER FIVE: With one shot against Mercer, Dagnoni holds sole possession of the fifth-most shots (47) in an individual season at Belmont.
DISCIPLINED ATTACKING: The Bruins are the only team in the Southern Conference with less than 20 offsides calls this season.
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.