Saint Mary’s can’t net game-winner, ties 1-1
Ryan Duffy | Monday, September 20, 2004
Sometimes, it’s just one of those days.Saturday was one of those days for the Belles, who pulled off a 1-1 tie with Alma College after two overtimes despite having numerous chances to put the game away. Saint Mary’s took nearly 25 shots on goal throughout the game but was unable to convert time and time again.”We played fairly well, but we just couldn’t finish,” sophomore goalie Nicole Leach said. “We didn’t play bad at all. We just had some trouble getting it into the net. I guess it was just one of those days.”The Belles came out slowly against Alma, giving up a goal early in the first half to fall behind 1-0. Saint Mary’s kept the ball in its opponent’s zone for much of the first half, but was unable to get on the scoreboard.”We tend to come out slow, and then take most of the first half to settle down and get into our groove,” sophomore Caroline Stancukas said. “It was not a lack of an effort on our part – it was just a bad day.”The Belles entered the half trailing 1-0, marking the first time they have been trailing at the half all year. Coach Mackenzie and the players considered switching the team’s defensive strategy for the second half from the flat-back four, the new system Mackenzie has implemented this year, to a system known as the sweeper/stopper defense, which the team used at times in the past.”We thought about switching, but we don’t really want to fall back on something else just because the flat-back four isn’t working,” Stancukas said.Saint Mary’s appeared to shake its early sluggishness after the half, coming out strong in the second half and tying the game at 1-1 when Jen Concannon knocked in a corner kick from Carrie Orr for the equalizer. The Belles used strong defense the rest of the way to keep the game even.”Our defense played well; the other team probably only had about five or six shots on goal during the entire game,” Leach said. “We dominated them, no question. They were a good team, but we were obviously stronger. It was just one of those days where we couldn’t quite get it in the net.”Despite the team’s strong second half play, the Belles were unable to take the lead, and settled for a tie after two 10-minute periods of overtime.”It was really a great effort by the team,” Stancukas said. “We played as hard as we could through two overtimes, so people were going for up to 110 minutes. It was a real good effort all-around.”Although they remain undefeated in MIAA conference play, the Belles were disappointed to come away with only a tie.”We just got unlucky as far as not getting the win; we had our chances,” Leach said. “If some of the calls went our way, and some of the balls bounced our way, we could have easily won.”Rather than focus on their shortcomings, however, the team looks forward to the future.”The first thing we said when we got off the field was, ‘We can’t wait to play them again on our home field,'” Leach said.