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Belles face Tri-State at home

Ryan Duffy | Tuesday, October 5, 2004

For the Belles this season, there’s been no place like home.

Saint Mary’s is 3-0 at home this season, with wins over three of the top four teams in their conference, but holds a significantly worse record of 1-2-1 on the road. The team will look to show their strength again today, when they take on Tri-State University at home.

“We really love playing at home; it’s a big bonus to not have to get on that bus for a long road trip to a game” said coach Caryn MacKenzie. “We like having the game in our area, and I’m excited for this week when we get to stay home twice. But whether it turns out to be a pattern or not, right now we don’t play very well on the road.”

In the Belles’ most recent road match, the team was unable to play with the same intensity from start to finish, and suffered a 4-1 loss to Calvin. Saint Mary’s will look to remedy that problem today on their home field.

“We played a great first half against Calvin, but in the second half we just came out flat,” said MacKenzie. “They were more energetic, and we were just deflated. We still can’t seem to consistently put two solid halves together. We want to avoid repeating that against Tri-State.”

While Calvin sits in first place and is one of the conference’s premier teams, Tri-State resides at the bottom of the standings, having yet to win a game in conference play.

“[Tri-State’s] record isn’t very strong, but they only lost to Calvin 3-2 last week,” said MacKenzie. “I’m not sure if they’ve had injuries or other problems, but they’re capable of playing good soccer; maybe they just need to put it together.”

To rebound from Saturday’s loss, the Belles will look to play strong soccer for both halves against Tri-State, as well as get more production from their forwards.

“We’ve struggled to put the ball in the net with our front-runners, although we’ve been getting good production from our midfielders,” said MacKenzie. “I hope this game will be a chance for our forwards to break out and put some balls in the back of the net. I have pretty high expectations that the team will be able to bounce back, play our style of soccer, and stay on track.”

After dropping to second in the standings with the Calvin loss, the Belles also look to solidify their place in the conference with a win today.

“They’re still very focused, and they still feel very much in the hunt for the title; it’s a long season, and there’s lots of soccer to still be played,” said MacKenzie. “All the teams we lost to on the road will have to come back here and face us at home. To win this conference, it’s going to take some skill, some focus, and even a little luck, but I’m confident our kids will stick with it and be there at the end.”