The Belmont Abbey men's soccer team opened the 2014 home schedule with a 2-0 loss to the visiting USC-Aiken Pacers this afternoon at Alumni Field. The Pacers scored goals in each half as they improved to 5-1-1, while the Abbey slips to 1-2-2.
USC-Aiken scored the only goal it would need in the twelfth minute as Andre Simmond floated a corner kick to the center of the box, where Rodrigo Goncalves was all alone and his header beat Luke Whelan for a 1-0 lead.
Belmont Abbey's best scoring chance came with under two minutes left, as Tarik Amon beat the goalkeeper but a trailing defender was able to recover and kick the ball away before Amon could produce the easy goal. A minute later, Jordan Gardner moved around his mark from 11 yards away and his chance, aimed towards the far post, was saved.
The Pacers closed the scoring in the 58th minute on Simmond's free kick goal, blasting a shot through the wall from 20 yards out.
The Crusaders upped the pressure late, as its best scoring chance came in the 77th minute when Nick Fuller was pulled down in the box and drew the penalty, but Declan McQuillan's attempt from the penalty spot was saved.
Belmont Abbey kept the pressure up in the waning moments, as it had three chances with less than two minutes to go, but the attempts were wide.
The Pacers outshot the Abbey 13-12 and held a 9-5 edge in corner kicks. Both goalkeepers made five saves and each team was whistled for 14 fouls.