Dayton men’s soccer comeback attempt falls short in 2-1 home opener loss to Bellarmine

Senior midfielder Jonas Fjeldberg scored with less than 10 minutes left, but the Flyers couldn’t get a second goal back to tie the game. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.

Luc Almeda
Sports Staff Writer

Dayton lost their 2021 home opener to Bellarmine on Wednesday night, 2-1. It was the first time since the fall of 2019 that the Flyers played a regular season game on Baujan Field.

Bellarmine was coming into the game off a top-15 win against Liberty University. The Knights capitalized on the momentum from their previous win, while Dayton had trouble taking their chances.

“They were very motivated, and we didn’t match that tonight,” UD head coach Dennis Currier said. “We didn’t get running like we normally do. It was some mistakes that hurt us, and they capitalized on that.”

Although Dayton controlled possession for most of the game, it was Bellarmine who struck first. 

A giveaway in Dayton’s central defense led to a shot and goal inside the box. Dayton ended the game with more shots (21 to 16) and more corners (11 to six) than Bellarmine, but couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.

“We didn’t finish those chances like we normally do,” Currier said. “A combination of us not finishing our chances, but also, I thought they did a good job keeping us away from goal.”

Bellarmine’s second goal came after another mistake in Dayton’s defense. In a race for a long ball, a Knights striker was taken down in the box and was awarded a penalty. He scored from the spot, doubling their lead.

“We send numbers forward, (but) the danger is when we get hit on the counter attack. It’s an exciting brand of soccer, it’s fun to watch, but on the other side of that, if we’re gonna win like that, we gotta make sure we protect ourselves,” Currier said.

With time running out, Dayton right-back Jaden Jones-Riley made a driving run into the Bellarmine box, and pulled back a ball for recent MLS draft pick and reigning A10 Offensive POY Jonas Fjeldberg to put away. It was the only Flyer goal of the night.

Fjeldberg was one of Dayton’s bright spots on Wednesday. He was fluid in the midfield, and made creative breakthroughs along Bellarmine’s back line. Although he made some chances, most of them ended up sailing wide. 

The Dayton outside-backs were also influential for the Flyers tonight. They brought energy and drive, but were stopped from doing what they wanted in the final third.

Dayton opens A10 conference play with their next game Saturday, March 13, when they travel to St. Louis to take on the Billikens.

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