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Learn From Experience

Learn From Experience

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Belmont women's soccer team fell short in the final exhibition match of the season, with Chattanooga defeating the Bruins 1-0 on Friday night at Rose Park. 

Chattanooga converted a goal in the 34th minute of the first half, with Hollie Massey getting the score off the assist from Maddie Burman. 

"I asked them at halftime to make three adjustments in the game and I felt like (the team) did that. It was eliminating two of the ways (Chattanooga) was attacking and one was an attacking thing for us," head coach Heather Henson said. "I was glad that they were able to make those adjustments. We created some opportunities. 

"We need to take care of the ball more and that's something we can do. We just have to have that for a consistent 90 minutes." 

The Bruins battled different situations than in Sunday's exhibition match against No. 17 Vanderbilt, having three corner kick opportunities in the first five minutes of the match. Belmont collected six corner kick opportunities in the first half, defending Chattanooga five times in corner kick situations. 

While Belmont did not convert the way they wanted to, having those looks on Friday provided valuable experience heading into the regular season. 

"They're opportunities to get players in and get some experience and I think that's an important piece for us in the growth of our team is getting players opportunity and getting them time on the field to make those in-game decisions," Henson said. "Defending and attacking corners becomes extremely important because we did have so many this game and we were able to see that. I think across the board, most of the players who came in off the bench, were able to see both sides of that." 

After allowing over 20 shots to Vanderbilt on Sunday, the Bruins allowed just nine shot opportunities to Chattanooga. Senior goalkeeper Lily Herman came up with four saves while freshman goalkeeper Sarah Doyle saw her first action in goal, playing 15 minutes. 

Belmont improved its offensive performance from Sunday's exhibition match, creating seven shot opportunities. Niki Clements and Avery Nowak each had two shots, with three different Bruins registering a shot. 

"I think it has to do a lot with chemistry," junior forward Paige Hewitt said. "This is only our second game. I think we're all getting to know each other's tendencies and our styles of play. I think as the season continues, we'll only be able to gel more going forward." 

Belmont starts the regular season on Thursday at Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. While Friday's exhibition did not count in the standings, the Bruins plan on using the two exhibition defeats as motivation to start the season on a high note. 

"The coaches were like, 'Take it in. Let it hurt a little bit. Use it as fuel for the next game," senior defender Shannon Maitland said. "We never want to lose, but there's obviously positives in this just like there was last week. It's just another stepping stone. We're getting better and better. Once the regular season starts, we're going to be out of the gates and we're going to be good."