NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An entire Lipscomb men’s soccer senior class has now never lost to Belmont in the “Battle of the Boulevard.” The Bisons (3-7-0, 0-0-0 ASUN) picked up their fourth straight victory against the Bruins (3-6-1) in a 1-0 victory on Thursday night at E.S. Rose Park in Nashville.
The Bisons were only afforded three shots in the game but received the shot that mattered as Reece Holcomb scored his first career goal – the game winner.
“We felt like the guys fought and battled hard,” Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. “Today was about our guys will not to succumb to Belmont’s pressure and finding a way to sneak one in.”
A physical first half, with each team trying to find a rhythm stemmed a scoreless period. The Bruins placed one shot on goal, a strike from Deigo Figueroa, resulting in a diving save from Bison goalkeeper Miguel Hof.
Coming out of the intermission break, the Bisons controlled the ball and broke through with their first shot of the game. Josue Chavez took an 18-yard shot from the left side but the attempt rolled straight to the Bruins goalkeeper Lou Manning.
Deven Bahadoorsingh, the hero of last year’s contest, took aim with a shot from 25 yards out a few minutes later, but was also denied the goal by Manning.
In the 77th minute, Holcombe raced ahead on a breakaway behind the Bruin defense. The freshman beat the last defender just outside of the penalty box and struck his first career goal as Manning’s diving attempt had the ball glance off his fingers to give the Bisons the 1-0 lead.
“It is a good confidence boost for Reece,” Morrow said. “It seems like this game in particular, there is always someone who steps up who we weren’t expecting and creates the difference. Hopefully he will become more and more of someone we look for to score goals.”
The six seniors of Bahadoorsingh, Jeremy Reid, Ethan Summers, Tyler Burckhardt, Matt Shanklin and Josh Robert can claim to be the first set of seniors to reel off four straight victories against the Bruins, bringing the Red Bull Trophy back to Lipscomb.
“It means a lot, not only to me but the other seniors as well,” Summers said. “We had a game plan that we knew if we executed we would come out on top. We had a rough first patch but came out in the second half, executed and found the way to win.”
The freshman Hof earned his first career shutout and first ‘Boulevard’ shutout since 2009. His counterpart Manning had two saves on the Bisons three shots.
“We feel good about the win, not only because it is Belmont and the trophy, but a win going into conference is a good thing,” Morrow said.
Lipscomb begins Atlantic Sun Conference play at Mercer on Thursday in Macon, Ga. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with live video stream for free at ASun.TV.