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SMC SOCCER: Belles eager to cool down Comets

Kyle Cassily | Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Olivet College is just another bump in the road for a Belles soccer team rapidly gaining momentum.

After two consecutive MIAA wins the Belles are hot and look to stop a similarly successful Olivet squad today at 4 P.M. at Saint Mary’s Field. The Comets are in the midst of a three-game winning streak over MIAA teams Adrian College, Kalamazoo, and Tri-State University.

They have not surrendered a goal in those three games, outscoring opponents 9-0. Their last loss came to league powerhouse Calvin College in a lopsided 6-1 defeat.

In response to shutting out their opponents for over 270 consecutive minutes, the MIAA recognized Olivet defender Stacey Stickney as the defensive player of the week.

The junior midfielder has also contributed on the other side of the ball consistently throughout her career.

In a 4-1 win over Saint Mary’s last year, Stickney scored all four goals for the Comets on her way to third place in the MIAA scoring crown with 12 goals and three assists.

“Stacey is one of our most talented players,” Comets’ coach Hans Morgan said.

“I am expecting her to do some different things on the field than she has done in the past. I want her to be more involved in us having a more productive offense.”

Olivet lost only one player from last year’s 8-12 team.

There are 16 returning varsity lettermen from a team that split last season’s series with the Belles – a 4-1 loss on the road and a 6-3 victory at home.

But the Belles refuse to let a previous letdown affect their future.

“Against Olivet last year we had a bad loss at their place and everyone still remembers that,” senior Carrie Orr said. “We are not going to let them come to our home field and let them do that to us.”

The Comets are in the midst of a meteoric rise up the MIAA ladder. The two years prior to 2004, they posted a horrific 2-18 record and lived in the cellar of the MIAA standings. But they currently hold a 3-3 record and will undoubtedly provide a challenge to the up-surging Belles.

“We are not going to let down just because we won the past two games,” Orr said. “We saw some stuff to work on and to improve upon.”

If Saint Mary’s follows through on its word and knocks off the upstart Comets, it will move ahead of Olivet in the MIAA standings with a 3-1 record to the Comets’ 3-2 standing.