Adam Pruiett, Bellarmine University Athletics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The ninth-ranked Bellarmine University women’s soccer team is coming off a dramatic win over a fellow 2015 DII NCAA Tournament team.
The savoring of that victory could not last long, however, as two more NCAA Tournament teams are next on the agenda in Great Lakes Valley Conference play. The Knights (4-0, 2-0 GLVC) play at 2 p.m. (ET) Friday at No. 25 Truman State (3-0-1, 2-0) before traveling to Quincy (0-3-1, 0-2) for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday.
Bellarmine opened GLVC action last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Maryville and rallied for a 2-1 overtime win over Missouri-St. Louis in which the Knights tied the match with less than four minutes left and then won less than two minutes into the extra frame. Bellarmine’s defense held the Tritons’ high-octane attack to one shot after halftime, and senior forward Mary Beth Gorham and senior midfielder Lauren Holder delivered the goals that propelled the Knights to the comeback win.
“The win on Sunday was important, but mainly because of the way we did it,” Bellarmine Coach Chris Tinius said. “We were able to come back against a good team and show some extra grit in the process. The win in and of itself is just another win in the standings. If we carry over how we won, it becomes a bigger deal.”
Truman State is the defending GLVC Tournament champion. The Bulldogs opened GLVC play with 1-0 wins over McKendree and Illinois Springfield. Four different players have accounted for the team’s four goals. Last season, Bellarmine edged TSU 1-0 in overtime in the regular season and 1-0 in the NCAA Midwest Region semifinals.
“Truman is a very good team, and we have a lot of respect for their program,” Tinius said. “They are pretty similar to us in style of play, and we always say it’s kind of like looking at ourselves in the mirror. I don’t know that there is any extra motivation on their side. The way you become as successful as they have been is that you approach each game and opponent as if it’s your most important game of the year.”
Quincy began GLVC action with 1-0 losses to Illinois Springfield and McKendree, but Bellarmine is fully aware of the Hawks’ capabilities. Last season, Quincy emphatically ended the Knights’ season-opening 13-game unbeaten streak with a 3-0 victory at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium that was every bit as one-sided as the final score indicated.
“I think focusing on Quincy’s record to start the year would be foolish,” Tinius said. “Their roster still has a lot of talented players. (In Dave Musso), they still have one of the most consistently successful coaches in the region. Sometimes things can snowball on you early if you don’t get started on the right track — we’ve all been there. They are fully capable of going on a big streak in the positive direction, and I expect them to do that at some point. One thing you can always count on is how hard they will play. We need to be ready for a challenge like we saw on Sunday (from UMSL) if we want to keep them from getting on the right track.”
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Bellarmine at Truman State
Date: Friday, Sept. 16
Time: 2 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Bulldog Soccer Park
Live Stats here
Bellarmine at Quincy
Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
Time: 1 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Legends Stadium
Live Stats here