Men's Soccer Ties Belmont on Senior Day to Close Regular Season
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Wednesday 11/04/2012
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MACOMB, Ill. - In a physical, back-and-forth battle, the Western Illinois men's soccer team fought Belmont to a 0-0 draw at John MacKenzie Alumni Field on Saturday afternoon.

The two teams combined for 36 shots, 46 fouls, and nine yellow cards in the match.

Western Illinois moves to 5-8-5 overall, marking just the second time in Western's time in Division I (since 1983) the program has reached five ties, after finishing 4-8-6 in 2010. The Bruins conclude their season 6-8-3 overall.

The Leathernecks honored their four seniors before the game: Aaron Appel, Nathan Bruinsma, Hilary Esangbedo and Aaron Winkelmann.

"Today was difficult because this game was meaningless compared to [next weekend] other than the fact that we're competitive by nature and want to win, so I expect that we'll be pretty focused in practice this week," head coach Dr. Eric Johnson said.

Bruinsma appeared to score a goal for Western in the first half, but it was waived off after he made apparent contact with the Belmont keeper.

Western had another strong chance at a goal during a flurry in the second overtime period. Freshman Erick Bloom and junior Drew Edmond each had a good look that was blocked by a Belmont defender, then Edmond's shot off a rebound was saved on a diving effort from Bruins keeper Lou Manning.

Sophomore keeper Yves Dietrich earned his third shutout of the season, saving all three shots on goal he faced.

Fellow sophomore Diego Gonzalez and Bloom each had three shots to lead the Leathernecks, while Edmond, Bruinsma, Winkelmann, Appel and junior Ruben Gaytan all added a shot on goal.

Pedro Miranda paced Belmont with four shots, while Manning was strong in net, saving all six shots on goal he faced.

The Leathernecks had a slight advantage in shots (19-17) and shots on goal (6-4), while Belmont had the edge in corner kicks (6-5).

Western now turns its focus to its semifinal match in the Summit League Tournament, where the third-seeded Leathernecks will take on second-seeded Kansas City in a rematch of Saturday's game.

That contest will take place at the Summit League Championship on Friday at 2 p.m., following the other semifinal game, top-seeded Oakland against fourth-seeded Fort Wayne at 11 a.m, also at John MacKenzie Alumni Field in Macomb.

"We definitely got a fitness, conditioning workout because of the overtimes. I think that and playing two games in two days helps us mentally so we'll point that out if we get the first one," Johnson added. "[Belmont] is a quality team and they're kind of like UMKC - pretty technical, [they] play the same way, so I think not giving up a goal because of our work rate was good today."

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