By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team is set to host Belmont Tuesday night in the makeup of an originally-scheduled affair from Oct. 3 that was wiped away due to inclement weather. Tech and the Bruins will get together from Tech Soccer Field at 6 p.m. CT.
Admission is free of charge. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Live stats will also be available.
A look at Tennessee Tech
After starting their OVC campaign 0-2, the Golden Eagles have secured back-to-back double overtime victories to even up their conference mark at 2-2, moving their overall record to 3-5-1 in the process. Trailing 1-0 late in regulation at UT Martin on Oct. 7, the purple and gold knotted the affair on a Bailey Taylor goal in the 71st minute, before TTU checked the win column for the first time in OVC play with a Gabby Garcia score in the 109th minute.
Tech followed up Garcia's heroics with more dramatics in the club's last time out, registering a 1-0 triumph over Eastern Illinois in TTU's annual Senior Day match Sunday in Cookeville. Scoreless midway through the second extra session, Chloe Smith scored on a penalty kick for her first goal of the season. The Cincinnati, Ohio product wrapped up the weekend with three points after Thursday's assist on Garcia's game winner.
Garcia and Smith join Yao Giada Zhou and Taylor as Golden Eagles that have found the back of the net this year. Taylor is the Tech leader with two scores this season, while Smith has paced the squad with 13 shots after her five attempts in the win over EIU.
Isabelle Austin is coming off her ninth career clean sheet and third shutout of the season in Sunday's blanking over the Panthers. The 5-foot-8 senior picked up one stop in the victory, fending off a double overtime attempt, after notching six halts in the nod at UT Martin.
A look at Belmont
The league's lone unbeaten team in conference play, the Bruins march into Tuesday's tilt with a 3-0 OVC ledger and a 6-4-1 overall record. Belmont has yet to allow a goal in its three conference clashes with a 1-0 win at SEMO on Sept. 26, a 2-0 victory over Austin Peay on Sept. 30 and a 1-0 triumph against Murray State on Oct. 7.
Since the calendar flipped to September, the Bruins have posted a 5-1-1 mark with the club's only loss coming to a 9-2 Western Kentucky squad on Sept. 9.
Maci Pekmezian is atop the Belmont leaderboard with three goals and six points. Loren House is the only other Bruin with more than one goal behind two scores, while Leah Firsdon's three assists are the most on the team. The freshman out of Dayton has a goal as well to sit second on the club with five points.
Sarah Doyle spent most of the time in net early on in the year for Belmont, surrendering 10 goals in six matches to go along with 32 saves for a 1.75 goals against average and a .762 save percentage. Andrea Leitner has started the last five matches, including all three in OVC play and has yet to allow a goal with a combined 14 stops in the three victories.
Belmont wrapped up the spring at 5-4-1 for a fifth-place finish in the league. The 2019 Bruins became the lowest seed to ever win the OVC Tournament behind a No. 6 seeding in the field of eight.
Inside the series
Tuesday will mark the 23rd battle in the all-time series. The Bruins hold an 11-9-2 edge over the Golden Eagles, which includes back-to-back victories after Tech had taken the previous five matchups. Belmont won 1-0 in the last get-together on Mar. 16, 2021 in Cookeville. Haley Poynter provided the tilt's lone goal with a score in the 11th minute.
Photo by Jim Dillon