SMC SOCCER: Belles drop road contest to Hope
Kyle Cassily | Monday, September 12, 2005
The rigors of travel, time and a tough opponent caused the Belles trouble in a close-fought 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Flying Dutch of Hope College.
The game, played at noon at Hope, worked against the Belles even prior to the start of the game.
The long road trip in the early morning hours, along with the loss of an hour due to time zone differences, did not contribute to an energetic Saint Mary’s soccer team entering the pitch.
These conditions would hinder even the most dominant team playing an inferior opponent, but the Belles were not playing a pushover – Hope is the cream of the MIAA crop and always a tough competitor for the women of Saint Mary’s.
Belles coach Caryn Mackenzie was concerned that her players were not given the most ideal conditions to win a key MIAA conference game.
“Hope just took advantage of [the inhibiting conditions],” she said. “They came with high energy, just out-possessed and out-played us in the first half.”
The Flying Dutch registered their first goal shortly after the opening whistle, tickling the twine at the eight minute mark. Hope’s Kristin Krcmar dribbled the ball into Saint Mary’s penalty box and shot a cross over the middle to Linnae Klompmaker. Klompmaker headed the ball towards the back post, driving past the Belle’s Laura Heline (5 saves) for the score.
“The first [goal] was really great,” Mackenzie said. “It was really hard to stop it, just how well it was timed. We didn’t defend it very well – it was a bit of a breakdown defensively for us.”
Hope’s control of the game did not end following the quick tally – 18 minutes later the Flying Dutch added the insurance goal. Sarah Cochrane notched the tally unassisted past a tiring Belles’ defense.
The Belles reversed the flow of the game once the second half began, but could not put the ball past Hope goalkeeper Holly Nestle (seven saves on 10 shots).
“We kept pressing, pressing but couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Mackenzie said.
The Belles have been scoreless for the past 270 minutes of play, their last goal coming in a double overtime victory over SUNY-Brockport in the Marietta College Classic.
“It puts more pressure on the forwards than I wanted too,” Mackenzie said.
But that is not to say that there has been a lack of strong play from the Belles’ attackers and midfielders. Carolyn Logan and Cat MacMillan tried to spark the fuse that would ignite a Belles’ offensive explosion, but were unable to complete the feat.
On defense, Carrie Orr was the backbone for the defensive four that handled the Flying Dutch attack competently, along with goaltender Heline, but did not receive the support on offense necessary for victory.
“It’s back to the drawing board in terms of playing on the road,” Mackenzie said. “I think we are about ready to turn a corner, so hopefully that will come to fruition on our home field, after two weeks of playing on the road.”
The Belles will take these hopes into another MIAA match-up with Albion College at home on Wednesday.