Bears Punch Ticket to A-Sun Championship with 2-1 Win over Belmont
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Mercer men's soccer team scored two unanswered goals in the second half to come away with a 2-1 victory over Belmont on Sunday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.
With the win, Mercer (8-6-3, 3-3-2 A-Sun) clinches a spot as the No. 4 seed in the 2011 Atlantic Sun Championship, hosted by ETSU on November 9-13. Belmont (6-9-2, 2-4-2 A-Sun) saw its postseason chances fall by the wayside as it needed a win to advance.
The first half was filled with conservative play from both sides as neither team generated a quality scoring chance in the period. Mercer did produce five corner kicks in the half, but couldn't convert leaving the score tied 0-0 at intermission.
The Bruins, however, found a goal with their first scoring chance of the afternoon in the 50th minute of play. After a foul resulted in a free kick, sophomore Nico Olsak blasted a shot off the Mercer wall and into the back of the net to give Belmont a 1-0 lead.
The Bears didn't hang their heads long, however, as one of their offensive leaders knotted the game back up just minutes later. Junior Joey Heavner stepped onto a loose ball in the Belmont box and fired a shot past Belmont goalkeeper Lou Manning to tie the game at 1-1.
Mercer nearly went ahead in the 70th minute when redshirt junior Matt Brazer settled a ball just outside the 18-yard box and sent in a shot that drifted just wide of the frame to keep the game tied at 1-1.
The Orange and Black kept pressing forward and found a go-ahead goal when they needed it most. Sophomore Ehjayson Henry flicked a pass from his fellow classmate Sean Baumann over the arms of Manning to put the Bears ahead 2-1 in the 79th minute.
That is the way things stayed as Mercer held off the Bruins as they pushed everyone forward looking for an equalizer in the final minutes.
Mercer is back on the pitch on November 4, when it travels to North Carolina to take on ACC power Duke. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium.