Bruins knock off reigning National Champs

Bruins knock off reigning National Champs

FAYETTE, Mo. -- The No. 14-ranked Bellevue University men's soccer team took out some early season frustrations with a terrific all-around performance as the Bruins upended No. 1-ranked, and 2018 National Champion, Central Methodist University by a score of 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Davis Field.

Records:

#14 Bellevue: 2-5-0
#1 Central Methodist: 5-1-0

Recap: #14 Bellevue 2, #1 Central Methodist 1

Like heavyweights, feeling each other out in the early rounds, BU and Central Methodist were more probing than attacking in the first half with CMU accounting for all three shots in the opening period.

The best chance of the first half came in the 17th minute when Jayton Johnson got in on goal but AJ Jarvis used his feet to rebuff Johnson's attempt.

Bellevue saw their first couple of chances come inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half. After winning a free kick in a dangerous area in the 52nd minute, 20 yards from goal, Ricky Reyes sent a shot over the crossbar. Then, in the 55th minute Reyes sent a header rattling off the post as the game remained scoreless.

Central Methodist broke through in the 65th minute off a set piece. Following a long ball into the box, Carlos Scheckermann headed a pass to Rodrigo Paredes who continued the volley with a headed goal for a 1-0 Eagle lead.

The lead did not last long with Bellevue winning a penalty kick in the 74th minute. Inaki Aldao's initial attempt was saved by Vince Gelei but Aldao followed up and banged home the rebound, his third goal of the year, to pull the Bruins equal on a goal apiece.

CMU had a golden chance to take the lead back in the 86th minute when the official awarded a penalty to the Eagles. Daniel Hernandez stepped to the spot but his attempt was saved by Jarvis to keep the game level.

Just over a minute later, Bellevue took the lead. Austyn Brinkley chested a pass to Alex Cuenca, then used his body to shield a defender, as Cuenca blasted a shot in the left upper corner for his second goal of the year and a 2-1 Bruin advantage.

From there, Bellevue saw out the game and secured the result.

The Eagles out-shot Bellevue 11-5 on the day and won all five of the corner kicks awarded while 34 fouls were whistled and six cards issued.

Coach Mark Heath-Preston:

"We played against a very direct team; we had a very good idea what they would throw at us and we dealt with it well. Andy Wilkinson, Finlay Bloodworth, and Kortlan Franke were solid at the back and Ramy Katit had a much improved game."

"A great save from AJ Jarvis on the peno and, then, what a strike from big Al (Alex Cuenca) to win the game at the end!"

Man of the Match:

Alex Cuenca -- Scored the game-winner and turned in another strong all-around game for the Bruins.

Up Next:

The Bruins return home on Wednesday, Sept. 11 when they host Briar Cliff at 7 p.m. from Bellevue West High School.

Notes:

  • Each of Bellevue's first seven matches has now been decided by a single goal.
  • The loss was the first for CMU since Nov. 10, 2018 when they fell to #8 Missouri Valley, 2-1, in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship Match.
  • It was the Eagle's first regular-season loss since a 3-2 setback to #23 Benedictine on Sept. 26, 2018.
  • Bellevue's victory was their first over a No. 1-ranked team since the Bruins defeated then-No. 1 Hastings by a score of 3-1 on Sept. 25, 2013.
  • The win is also Bellevue's third against a top-ranked team on the road since 2007 (Sept. 18, 2007, def. William Jewell 2-1) against just one loss in such games. The loss came in the Opening Round of the 2013 NAIA National Tournament at Grand View.