BELLEVUE, Neb. -- The 16th-ranked Bellevue University men's soccer team defeated Sterling College 5-1 on a dreary Tuesday evening at Faiman Field on the Bellevue West High School campus to set a new record for the longest unbeaten run to open a season.
#16 Bellevue: 6-0-1
Recap: #16 Bellevue 5, Sterling 1
Bellevue, sporting their fresh No. 16 National Ranking, turned a 1-0 game into a decisive 3-0 advantage with a pair of goals in a span of just 16 seconds en route to a convincing 5-1 win over Sterling on Sunday.
Bellevue created a tripled their lead with a pair of goals in a span of just 16 seconds in the 35th minute. First, Andy Wilkinson one-timed a shot off Toby Millward's free kick. Then, on the restart, Emil Gebelhoff played a ball up the near sideline that Inaki Aldao raced with into the box and blasted a shot high past the keeper.
Aldao added an insurance goal in the 54th minute with a strike from the penalty spot.
Sterling picked up a consolation goal in the 83rd minute when he banged out Mauricio Cordone's rebound into an open net.
Marvin Ramirez restored the four-goal advantage when he collected a Sterling giveaway and dribbled in on goal to beat the keeper low.
AJ Jarvis made five saves in goal for Bellevue to earn the win.
Zachary Gudakov stopped seven shots for Sterling and his defense made an additional team save.
Bellevue out-shot the Warriors 25-8 (13-4 on goal) and each team recorded three corner kicks in the match.
Man of the Match:
Andy Wilkinson – Scored his first goal of the season - the eventual game-winner - and helped anchor a back line which limited the Warriors to just four shots on goal and rarely allowed threatening runs.
Coach Mark Heath-Preston:
"It was a good win as we now look ahead to Saturday."
Bellevue heads back out on the road on Saturday, Sept 8 when they travel to McPherson, Kan. for a 3 p.m. match against the Bulldogs of McPherson.
After beginning the season unranked Bellevue rocketed to No.16 in the first NAIA Regular Season Coaches' Top 25 Poll that came out on Tuesday afternoon.
- The ranking is the first for the team since Bellevue debuted at No. 17 in the 2016 Preseason Poll.
- It's the first in-season ranking for BU since the Bruins finished the 2015 season ranked 17th following a run to the NAIA National Tournament Round of 16.
- On Tuesday morning BU sophomore striker Inaki Aldao was named the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Player of the Week.
- Bellevue's five goals match their highest total of the season. They also scored five against Doane in the opener.