Toledo Stubs Toe vs. Belmont in Home Opener, 2-1
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo posted a sizable 15-4 edge in shots against Belmont on Sunday in its home opener at sunny Scott Park, but the two-time reigning Mid-American Conference regular-season champions came up on the short end of a 2-1 decision. With the loss, UT falls to 0-2-0 on the season.
Eight different Rockets were credited with shots in the non-league matchup, including a team-high four off the foot of reigning MAC Offensive Player of the Year junior Rachel MacLeod. Senior tri-captain Kristen Mattei also tallied three shots, while senior Jaimie Morsillo and sophomore Sarah Seig had two shots each in a losing effort.
The Midnight Blue & Gold looked sharp in the early stages of today's contest and struck gold on MacLeod's first goal of the season at 5:55. The third-year Rocket had the ball in space down the right side of the pitch before she cut inside a Belmont defender to give herself a better look at the goal. MacLeod quickly launched a left-footed shot into the upper left corner of the net to lift the home team to the early lead.
UT kept the pressure on and came within inches of doubling its lead in the 15th minute when freshman Geri Siudzinski stole a pass about 40 yards from goal and raced with ball down the middle of the pitch. The first-year midfielder recognized a gap in the Bruins' defense and blasted a shot from approximately 25-yards out that goalie Nicole Berner made a diving save on to keep it a 1-0 contest.
Toledo maintained the advantage until the 22nd minute when Belmont's Katie Proud perfectly placed a shot into the back of the frame to knot the score at 1-1. BU's Megan Rock set the equalizer when she stole a pass around midfield and lofted the ball over the last line of the Rockets' defense to a streaking Proud down the right side of the field. Proud took a couple quick dribbles and maneuvered a shot under a diving sophomore goalie Kelsey Borowitz to draw the teams even at the 21:47 mark.
In the second period, UT's Seig was presented with a golden opportunity to help the home team reclaim the lead with about 23 minutes left in regulation. Seig received a pass from classmate Kirsten Catloth along the left side and she spun toward the middle of the pitch to create some free pass for her approximately 15 yards from the goal. The Cincinnati, OH native put a shot on frame that caromed off the crossbar and out of danger.
As the second period wore on, Belmont took advantage of only its second shot of the contest and seized the lead for good on a goal by Spencer Laufer at 70:06. The Bruins forward claimed a free ball about 20 yards from goal and worked her way toward the left side of the UT goalbox. Laufer found a gap in the Toledo defense and slid a shot under the outreached arm of Borowitz to give the visitors an advantage they would not relinquish.
Toledo tried desperately in the waning moments to tally the equalizer but was unable to find the mark, suffering only its 12th home loss since the start of the 2005 campaign. UT was credited with five shots and had two of its six corner kicks over the final 19-plus minutes.
Toledo's Borowitz went the distance for the second straight match between the posts and was credited with one save in a losing effort.
The Rockets will return to the pitch on Friday, Aug. 24 when they travel Fort Wayne, IN to battle IPFW. The opening whistle from the Hefner Soccer Complex is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Belmont 2, TOLEDO 1
UT: R. MacLeod (Unassisted), 5:55
BU: K. Proud (M. Rock), 21:47
BU: S. Laufer (Unassisted), 70:06
SHOTS: UT 15, BU 4
CORNER KICKS: UT 6, BU 1
SAVES: UT 1, BU 5
FOULS: UT 9, BU 19
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