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Belles dominate Tri-State in 8-1 victory

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, October 6, 2004

For perhaps the first time all season, the Belles were clicking on all cylinders.

After losing two of their last three games, Saint Mary’s looked dominant in an 8-1 win over Tri-State University on Tuesday.

“It was nice to finally put some balls in the back of the net,” senior Shannon Artnak said. “It’s hurt us sometimes in games not being able to finish, and sometimes we’ll play well, but not finish shots. We hope the team as a whole was able to get the monkey off our back’s with this game, because we can’t continue to have that problem for the rest of the season.”

After scoring only eight goals in their last five games combined, the Belles ended their offensive woes and exploded for another eight yesterday. Captain Katie Taylor opened the scoring with a header off of a corner kick. Her teammates quickly followed her lead, and goals by Carrie Orr, Carolyn Logan and Ashley Hinton allowed the Belles to go into the half with a 4-1 lead. Hinton led off the second half with her second goal of the game to make it 5-1, and Orr matched her feat when she scored her second goal. Jen Concannon and Cat MacMillan also scored goals to seal the 8-1 victory. The large lead allowed Saint Mary’s to get more players into the game than usual.

“It was very good for team morale. We have 19 field players plus three goalies, and for as hard as they all work in practice, it’s nice for them to get some time,” said Artnak. “Just look at the score; the starters aren’t the only ones on the team that can play. Anyone on our team can step in and play on a high level.”

The Belles appear to have put an end to two of their big problems from the previous game – playing consistent soccer from start to finish, and getting production from their forwards.

“We got everyone in the game and still put two solid halves together, so we obviously have a lot of depth on our bench; it was good to have a solid win,” Taylor said. “The forwards showed a lot of progress in this game; it was definitely a big improvement from Saturday’s game against Calvin.”

Once the weak link of the team, the bench has become one of Saint Mary’s biggest assets.

“The bench has been a problem in the past, but it’s gotten better every year,” Artnak said. “It’s great to know this year that if someone has an off day, the bench can step right in without missing a beat.”

With the victory over Tri-State, the Belles have now played every team in the MIAA once. They will now face each team again to close out the season.

“We’re at the halfway point now; we feel pretty decent about our record,” Artnak said. “But it’s a whole new half; we’ll put the first half behind us, and play everyone again after our experiences the first time. We’ll take it one game at a time; the more games we win, the more we can keep our destiny in our own hands.”

Saint Mary’s hopes the lesson learned in the first half will prove useful for the next round of games.

“As a team, we’ve learned from our games; for example, after the Olivet game, we’ve learned to take every game seriously,” Artnak said. “