NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 2, 2009) - An early first half goal by Belmont sophomore forward Jamie Loftis proved to be the difference as the ETSU women's soccer team fell to its in-state rivals 1-0 Friday night at the Whitten Soccer Complex in Nashville.
With the loss ETSU falls to 2-9-0 overall with a 1-2-0 mark in A-Sun play, while the league leading Bruins improve to a 6-4-1 clip and a perfect 3-0-0 record in Atlantic Sun Conference action.
After sophomore keeper Megan Masch (Virginia Beach, Va.) opened play with a quick save off of a shot by Belmont senior forward Elizabeth Bublis, ETSU returned the with a shot of its own as junior forward Terri Miller (Cape Coral, Fla.) fired the ball just wide of the net in the fourth minute.
ETSU continued its offensive pressure midway through the first half as sophomore midfielder Genna Petersen (Loveland, Ohio), senior forward Jordan Monty (Mesquite, Texas) and Miller all fired shots that were denied by Belmont sophomore keeper Sara Lin.
After a Buccaneer foul in the 28th minute, Belmont countered with its restart as sophomore Bruin defender Gretchen Sutch found Loftis inside the box, for the game-winner with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
"We had our chances in the first half with numerous offensive opportunities," said head coach Heather Henson. "Right before Belmont scored we played a corner kick inside the box and had a great chance to score on that play and just didn't connect with the goal. Those are the type of balls that we have to find a way to put in the back of the net in order to win in a close match."
The Bucs did manage four shots in the second half, however none were on target as the Bruins defense continued to stay within their system.
"Belmont did an excellent job maintaining its spacing as our forwards attacked in the second half," Henson said. "We have to be stronger, knowing that we were down a goal. At times in the second half we didn't stay within our system and forced the attack. Our offense has to do a better job staying mature as we get aggressive offensively."
Defensively, Masch led the Bucs with eight saves on the night, while the offense was paced by Monty with a team-best three shots.
ETSU continues A-Sun play on the road with a 2:00 p.m., contest Sunday at Lipscomb.
"The idea situation going into this weekend was to get six points and move atop the conference standings," said Henson. "Now with loss our goal is to get at least three points with a win against Lipscomb. There's a lot of soccer still to be played and our team knows after tonight that we must give ourselves a chance to stay in the hunt with a critical win on Sunday.
For more information on the ETSU women's soccer team please visit www.ETSUBucs.com. Also you can follow daily post and updates on the official ETSU women's soccer team Twitter page at www.twitter.com/ETSUSoccer.