MACON, Ga. – The Mercer women’s soccer team dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 overtime loss to A-Sun rival Belmont on a hot, muggy Sunday afternoon at Bear Field. The loss snapped the Bears three-game winning streak and evened up their early conference record at 1-1.
Belmont came into Sunday’s match on a roll after beating fellow in-state rival Kennesaw St., 2-1 on Friday night. In a highly defensive battle, the Bears(7-3-0, 1-1-0 A-Sun) and Bruins (5-4-0, 2-0-0 A-Sun) played through a hot, muggy first 90 minutes of scoreless play.
With just over two minutes remaining in the first overtime, Belmont drew a foul just inside the Bears’ end. Belmont’s Gretchen Sutch took the free kick and laced a ball that careened off the crossbar and fell to a waiting Alex Morgado who headed the ball into the corner of the net for the game-winner.
In what was the last time these two teams will meet in a regular season A-Sun conference match, Belmont scored the first goal that Mercer has given up at home this season, breaking a 456-minute scoreless streak.
“Their goalkeeper played outstanding, she made all the plays in the box and when we had the opportunity to do it we just didn’t do it,” head coach Grant Serafy played. “It was a pretty even game otherwise. They fought hard and I didn’t think we fought hard enough, but it was just going to come down to plays in the box and I thought their goal keeper played pretty well.”
On Sunday, the Bears had their second lowest offensive output of the season, getting off 12 shots and just two on frame in the game. On the other side of the ball, Mercer limited Belmont to just six shots, yet five of those were on goal.
Sophomore Casey Barrett led Mercer with four shots while senior Olivia Tucker and freshman Washida Blackman were the lone players to get a shot on goal in the game.
“We didn’t really overcome adversity today or show much competitiveness out there,” Serafy said. “We have to sort out routine goalkeeper play and then I have to find those competitors that can play.”
The Bears continue A-Sun play next weekend as the team heads south for matches at both North Florida (Friday, Sept. 30 – 7 p.m.) and Jacksonville (Sunday, Oct. 2 – 2 p.m.)