NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ellen Lundy and Molly Bray provided all the offense the Lipscomb women’s soccer team needed in a 4-0 shutout in the return of the “Battle of the Boulevard” Monday night at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
Lipscomb improves to 3-3-2 overall while Belmont falls to 2-4-0 in the nonconference contest.
“It was the best performance by far that we have had this season, from start to finish,” Lipscomb head coach Kevin O’Brien said. “There have been glimpses of this but we haven’t put it together for 90 minutes.
“Defensively, we were very strong and hard to break down. In the attack, we created some phenomenal chances with clinical finishing. We haven’t had anything like that up to this point in the season.”
Lundy and Bray each scored two goals while goalkeeper Anna Buhigas had five saves for the shutout.
The game was controlled in the early minutes by the Bruins, attempting the first three shots before the Lady Bisons got on the scoreboard by a strike from Lundy in the 22nd minute.
Junior Baylee Linnell found the freshman in front of the goal and Lundy, who entered the contest third in the nation in goals scored, was able to volley the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead.
That score would hold up for the remainder of the first stanza. Sophomore Molly Bray tacked on a second goal for the Purple and Gold in the opening minutes of the second as she dribbled around the defense on the right side and lofted a shot over Nicole Berner, the Bruins goalkeeper.
Linnell and Lundy again teamed up for in the 53rdminute for Lundy’s Atlantic Sun Conference leading ninth goal of the year.
The duo was assisted by sophomore Emily Shuler who made a pass from midfield to Linnell. The Nashville native then flipped a pass to Lundy for a one-touch shot from 22 yards out into the upper right corner of the goal.
“Some continuity is finally taking place,” O’Brien said. “When starting six freshmen consistently, it takes time to get to know one another. You can’t do it in a college preseason unfortunately. It takes several weeks into the year before you see the fruits of the labor.”
Bray, a sophomore, added the final goal of the game by taking the ball from the Bruins defense on the left side, turning the corner and scoring into the left corner of the net.
Buhigas took over the A-Sun lead with her fourth shutout on the season.
“Anna has been fantastic,” O’Brien said. “She manages the game so well. There were probably two saves tonight that were headed to the corner of the goal that she extended and made phenomenal goal stopping saves on.
“She has been a great leader and a great goalkeeper.”
The Lady Bisons have now won two-straight against Belmont, after picking up a 2-1 victory in 2011. The four goals scored also tied a game-high in the series. The Bruins also scored four goals in 2010.
O’Brien pointed out that picking up the victory against a long-time rival does not only show up on the schedule but also in other facets of the program.
“It’s a massive game that everyone is excited about,” O’Brien said. “There are a lot of things in play with recruiting implications and institutional pride. It isn’t your normal nonconference game, there is a lot more to it.
“To come out the way we did today was excellent.”
With the victory, the Lady Bisons conclude the five-game homestand 2-2-1. Lipscomb returns to the road for a 1 p.m. contest at Western Kentucky on Sunday.