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Tuesday, September 23, 2008In a little more than one minute the Lady Bisons soccer team did something that had not happened in the previous two seasons against Belmont - they scored two goals.
Having been shut out by Belmont the past two seasons, the 2-0 lead by the Lady Bisons gave the game the air of a true "Battle of the Boulevard" match-up. In the end, though, Belmont prevailed, winning 3-2 in overtime Tuesday night at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. It was the Atlantic Sun Conference season opener for both teams.
Junior forward Brandi Besheres scored the first goal for the Lady Bisons at the 36:46 mark of the first half. Sophomore forward/midfielder Kate Spellman added her goal at 37:42 on header off of a cross with an assist to Besheres.
"We didn't have a whole lot of first half opportunities," said Lipscomb coach Jon Ireland. "Before the game we talked about the fact we weren't going to get a lot of chances so we had to make the ones we were going to get count.
"In every game we have played this season we have had chances. But we have either hit a post or we have flat out missed. I kept thinking that if we kept this up eventually it was going to fall. There were games last year when we didn't get a shot on goal the whole game."
Ireland felt like the short time between the goals was a shock to Belmont.
"We took advantage and scored one," Ireland said. "Sometimes you score and then have a letdown, but we scored again quickly."
Belmont found the net at 43:59 when Ivy Bentley scored on a header.
"That was the difference in the game," Ireland said. "I really felt like that if we could have held on a two-goal lead we could have regrouped at half-time. There isn't a timeout in soccer and sometimes I desperately wish that we did so we could regroup and settle down. Giving up that goal just changed the momentum."
In the second half Belmont tied the game on a goal by Jaymie Trocino at 80:37.
"We just defended and defended," Ireland said. "We held them and gave up goal with around nine minutes on the clock. That was frustrating.
"There are two big differences between this team and last year's team. First, we are easily creating more scoring chances. And second, we are able to stay more organized and give ourselves a chance."
Belmont needed only 1:20 in the first overtime to seal the win when Jamie Bullock scored from approximately 30 yards out.
"When we were up 2-1 at halftime I said we weren't going to sit back," Ireland said. "We wanted to continue to try to attack. We weren't going to stall. We weren't going to sit and watch the clock.
"Before the overtime I said if we lose, we lose, but we are going to try to win. We could put people back on defense or changed formations just to get it a tie. But I wanted us to make a stand and go for a win and not try to settle for a tie. Belmont just hit an incredible shot for the win."
The Lady Bisons slipped to 2-6-1, 0-1 in the A-Sun. Belmont is 6-3-0, 1-0 in the conference.
"Belmont was the better team," Ireland said. "They are one of the top teams in our conference.
"We feel like we are starting to close the gap on some of these teams. It is just a process. I can't fault our effort. Our effort was tremendous."
Thursday afternoon the Lady Bisons are back in action at home at 5:30 when Campbell visits for an A-Sun game.