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Bring on the Blackbirds

Bring on the Blackbirds


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The last two Belmont women's soccer games have seen the Bruins enjoy a season-best offensive outburst and an equally impressive defensive blockade. Now it's time to put those two pieces together in the same match.

HBelmont (0-3-0) hosts LIU Brooklyn on Sunday at E.S. Rose Park looking to notch its first victory of the season. Game time is 12:05 p.m.

The Bruins are coming off a strong defensive performance at Western Carolina last week in which the defense allowed a single goal on just two shots on net. The game prior, Belmont piled up three goals of offense at MTSU. Unfortunately neither of those outings yielded a win, but Belmont remains hungry to add a victory to its tab.

The team's senior leadership understands what's needed to turn around a slow start to a season, said fourth-year starting defender Sarah Bossung (Nashville, Tenn.). The Bruins of 2015 were 1-3 at this point on the calendar, but determination and execution elevated Belmont into a postseason team each of the following two years.

"My freshman year we started off the same way," the senior Bossung recalled. "I think we know we can only go up from here, we can build on that and learn from those mistakes. Having that belief and faith helps everyone stay positive, because we are making progress."

In LIU Brooklyn, the Bruins find an opponent far from home on a two-game swing through Tennessee. The Blackbirds stop at Middle Tennessee State on Friday before making the short trip north to meet Belmont for the first time in the programs' history Sunday.

Facing a team for the first time presents some unique opportunities for the Bruins to test themselves, head coach Heather Henson said. 

"You have to be able to solve those pieces within the game and I think that's great for our players, being able to come in with a fresh clean slate," Henson said. "We're playing in the moment and solving the problems within the game itself. That's giving them a chance to really show their soccer IQ."

Belmont continues to toy with lineup combinations in the early nonconference season, relying as much on the strength of its starting 11 as its bench depth. Communication has been the focus with the changing connections with an emphasis on ball possession.

In conjunction with Gray Line Tennessee, Belmont University is providing free transportation to soccer games for students from campus this season. Shuttles will run from the loop in front of Kennedy Hall on 15th Avenue to Rose Park beginning 45 minutes prior to kickoff (11:20 a.m. Sunday) and running until 45 minutes after the match concludes. Students must present their BUID card to ride.