Golden Eagle soccer squad edged by future OVC foe Belmont

 

Gawthrop gives Tech corner kick goal in 84th minute

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Taking a glimpse into the future, the Tennessee Tech soccer team showed that Belmont's entry into the OVC next year will present a challenging new rivalry as the Bruins escaped town with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon.

Belmont controlled the first half of play, taking a 1-0 lead into the break, and continued to limit Tech’s chances in the second half before going up 2-0 in the 78th minute.

But Tech didn’t go down without a fight. The Golden Eagles were able to control possession down the stretch in the second half and won a corner kick in the 84th minute, which junior forward Sarah Gawthrop delivered straight to the back of the Belmont net, cutting the advantage to 2-1.

The goal was the first of the season for Gawthrop, a Chattanooga native who scored one goal in 2010 on a penalty kick. 

The Bruins had an answer, however. Belmont negated Tech’s set-piece goal with one of its own in the 88th minute when Alex Morgado took advantage of a Tech foul, drilling a free kick into the net and thereby securing the win for Bruins, who improved to 1-1 on the season.

Tech fell to 0-2 after its first weekend of play.

“We did a good job staying focused for the entire game, but in the end, it’s one mistake, and it’s all about the team that minimizes mistakes,” said Golden Eagle head coach Daniel Brizard.

“The first goal came with the ball just bouncing around, and it’s hard to defend those, but they were pressing and they got up in the box and they deserved to finish it. We’ve got to play a full 90 minutes, and that’s all there is to it.”

Belmont more than doubled up the Golden Eagles in shots, taking 17 to Tech’s eight. Twelve of the Bruins’ shots were on goal compared to five for the Golden Eagles, who were limited to two shots in the first half before taking six in the second.

Sophomore goalkeeper Becca Toler notched nine saves on the game for the Golden Eagles while Belmont’s Nicole Berner finished with four.

Freshman forward Allie Hicks put Belmont on the board in the first half, scoring the Bruins’ first goal of the season in the 25th minute. The two teams then played more than 50 scoreless minutes before Belmont freshman forward Rachel Schmidt scored the Bruins’ second goal of the game at the 78:41 mark.

The Golden Eagles now embark on a seven-game road swing that begins Friday with a 6 p.m. date at East Tennessee State. Tech will not return home until Sept. 17, when they host Lipscomb at 3 p.m.

“I love going on the road,” Brizard said. “I like playing at other people’s places, I think it’s fun. Soccer is soccer. It doesn’t matter where you play, the game is the same. We’ve just got to look after ourselves, play our game and complete passes and mark people.”