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Former manager lifts squad to beat Adrian

Ryan Duffy | Tuesday, September 14, 2004

This time last year, sophomore forward Cat MacMillan was the soccer team’s manager, cheering the Belles on from the sidelines. This year, she’s the one leading them to victory.MacMillan – playing in her first collegiate game – scored a goal and added an assist to help Saint Mary’s defeat Adrian 3-0 in the team’s first conference game.”I knew I had to work hard to get to where I am, and I’ve given everything I have to try to contribute to this team,” said MacMillan. “This is a team where every single player contributes something.”Like many of the players, MacMillan feels an added incentive to succeed this season.”We definitely have a lot to play for this year,” she said. “This is the first year where Saint Mary’s has had a team with this kind of talent and drive, and we’re looking to take that far. We want to earn some respect for our school and its athletic program.”The Belles’ offense was impressive in the first step of their quest for an MIAA title, launching 30 shots on goal and consistently keeping the ball near their opponent’s goal. Center midfielder Ashley Hinton scored an unassisted goal to open the game, and Colleen Courtney extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal assisted by Shannon Artnak and MacMillan. MacMillan then added a goal of her own off an assist by Emily Wagoner and Hinton to seal the game for Saint Mary’s. The team’s strong play allowed coach Caryn Mackenzie to get almost every player into the game, including all the freshmen. Mackenzie was happy with the way the team opened up the year.”We did some good things on both ends of the field Saturday,” she said. “We got great play from [sophomore goalie] Laura Heline, who made some great saves. We had lots of opportunities because of the number of shots on goal, and overall, I’m pleased with our whole team’s performance.”In past years, the extremely aggressive style of the Adrian team might have proved too much for Saint Mary’s. But this year, the team seems capable of meeting such a challenge in stride. “They played a really strong, physical game against us, but we stepped up to the plate and did not take them lightly,” Courtney said. “Everyone worked well together; our team chemistry is looking really good. A team at Saint Mary’s has never been this strong, and we want to reset the standard at this school.”With its win against Adrian, the team moves one step closer to its goal of bringing the MIAA title to Saint Mary’s.”This was a great way to start off in the MIAA,” MacMillan said. “We gained a lot of momentum from a win like this. We’ve set our goals high. We don’t want to be a team that gets taken lightly. We want to be the team that no one wants to play.”