|October 11, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|LIP||31:11||BELLINI, Anthony (HARRIS, BENNIE )|
|MEM||66:42||BICE, Brantley (ZALZMAN, David )|
|LIP||76:30||SMITH, Kyle (BELLINI, Anthony )|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||MEM|
|Shots (on Goal)||13 (10)||23 (8)|
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – An unlikely hero rose to the occasion for the Bisons men’s soccer team (6-6), as little-used senior Anthony Bellini produced a goal and assisted on the eventual game-winner in Lipscomb’s 3-1 defeat on the road at Memphis (2-6-3) on Wednesday night.
"Tonight was a great opportunity to get the monkey off our back," said head coach Charles Morrow. "Overall I'm really happy about the result."
Bellini scored the opener for his first career goal at Lipscomb in his final season, and he made it count with a screamer from almost 30 yards out. Then after Memphis tied the match in second half, Bellini chipped a pass to senior Kyle Smith which led to the game-winner.
"Tonight was special," Bellini said. "On the goal I just found myself in space and thought, 'why not?'. I had a hit, connected cleanly, and it goes in the goal."
Previously the senior had only appeared in eight career matches totaling 100 minutes. The score was assisted by redshirt freshman Bennie Harris who earned his first career point as well.
"Bellini has been great this year," said Morrow. "He brings so much intensity and work into training. He makes us better every week. I love the confidence he had tonight. I'm really happy for him."
While Bellini’s playing time at Lipscomb has been few and far between, he did stand out this offseason winning as the squad’s “Competition Point” champion. For his victory, Bellini was the inaugural winner of a wrestling-style championship belt.
After Memphis knotted the game at 1-1, it didn’t take the Bisons long to go back on the front foot as Bellini sent in Smith. The “blonde bomber” took a ball from almost midfield all the way into the box before finding the net to put Lipscomb back in front.
To seal the victory, freshman Ihaia Delaney put a rebounded penalty into the back of the net for the 3-1 scoreline. Delaney earned the penalty himself and after his initial shot was saved, he calmly slotted home the rebound for his second goal of the season.
Redshirt junior keeper Chris Zappia earned his sixth victory of the season making seven saves.
"Early in the year, Zappia was making every save that he should have, but wasn't coming up with the one save that won us the match," Morrow said. "Now he's making all the saves he should make plus the ones that keep us in matches or win them for us."
It’s the first win for Lipscomb in four matches as the Bisons had dropped the last three to ASUN opponenets.
- The Bisons goalless streak ended with Bellini’s goal. It spanned four games and lasted more than 220 minutes.
- Bellini became the eight different goal scorer for Lipscomb this season.
- Harris point gives the Bisons 10 different point scorers in 2017.
- Smith’s goal is his first on the year and the third of his career.
- Delaney’s goal is his second of the year. Both have been the result of penalty kicks.
The Bisons will return home on Saturday night at 7 p.m. to face North Florida.