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Belles hope to extend their home win streak

Ryan Duffy | Friday, October 15, 2004

Like most of the students heading out for fall break, the Belles couldn’t be happier to be returning home.

After an excruciating loss to Kalamazoo on Wednesday off a last-second penalty kick, the Belles will look to rebound Saturday when they take on Alma at home, where Saint Mary’s holds a 5-0 record this year.

“Alma is a strong team, so we’ll be looking to bring our best game against them,” senior captain Jen Herdman said. “We’re going to come out strong, and focus on playing as a team. It should be quite a game.”

The Belles tied Alma 1-1 in their first meeting this year, but will need to finish their opportunities against Kalamazoo if they wish to bring home a victory this time.”The loss to Kalamazoo was tough, and hard on the team; we’re a very close team, thought, so we bounce back strong,” Herdman said. “We’re not going to let it get us down. We’re just going to take it one game at a time; we’ve put it behind us, and we’re looking forward to the games we have left to play.”

Although the Belles were close the entire game, the Kalamazoo game still represents an opportunity missed.

“The loss to Kalamazoo was unfortunate,” sophomore Ashley Hinton said. “We had our opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, and we just weren’t able to capitalize on them.”

Wednesday’s adds another chapter to the story of the Belles’ woes on the road this year.

“It was a tough game, and everyone played well, but the ball just didn’t fall our way,” Herdman said. “Don’t get me wrong, Kalamazoo is a good team, but they got a great break to a get a penalty kick in the final 30 seconds. We played strong defense, and it was a 50-50 battle throughout the game, but luck just wasn’t with us in the end.”

The Belles will look for a big advantage from the return to their home field. “We seem to be playing better on our home field, so we’re really excited to play at home,” Hinton said. “We still need to get our act together on the road as well, though.”

Despite the loss to Kalamazoo, which dropped the Belles down to third in the conference standings, Saint Mary’s remains optimistic in its hopes for a MIAA title.

“This conference isn’t a typical conference; no team dominates, and anything can happen,” Herdman said. “The great thing about soccer is, on any given day, any team can beat anyone. If we play the game we’re capable of, we can definitely have a shot at conference.”

With the season winding down, the Belles will have to play their best soccer to win their conference.

“This is the last stretch of the season, so it’s really important that we make the most of each game coming up,” Hinton said. “There isn’t much room for error if we want to make the [NCAA Div. III] tournament. We just need to put two solid halves together for each game for the rest of the season, and hope that the other teams in conference take care of the things we have no control over.”