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SMC SOCCER: Belles lock horns with Alma in MIAA match

Kyle Cassily | Friday, September 16, 2005

The Belles soccer team will head into the hostile confines of Michigan on Saturday afternoon to take on the Alma College Scots in a key MIAA matchup.

Saint Mary’s looks to capitalize on the momentum gained from Wednesday’s home-opening 2-0 victory over Albion College.

The game was dominated by the Belles on both ends of the field, a good sign considering the close play usually associated with playing Albion.

In the Albion game the Belles were also able to reverse a three-game scoring drought, a trend they hope to continue.

If the past is any record, that will be no problem for a renewed Belles attack.

Last year in two games against the Scots, Saint Mary’s netted six goals, while giving up only one.

But this year they will be facing a tough Alma defense – Pam McCarthy of the Scots was named the MIAA defensive player of week one of conference play.

The two games did not end in two victories, however. The first meeting ended in a 1-1 draw; the second game, a home tilt, ended in a 5-0 Belles win.

The Saint Mary’s offense is not the only aspect of the team’s game that has been improving. The defense showed up to play on Wednesday and dominated a previously competent Albion attack.

Every loose ball had a blue and white Belle on it, and every free Albion forward was corralled by a superior defensive strategy.

Alma once again brings another aspect the Belles must contain – Scots forward Kim Hoeltzel was nominated for MIAA offensive player of last week, finishing second in voting.

“I have confidence in our talent,” Belles coach Caryn Mackenzie said. “It is only a matter of us believing in ourselves and playing hard for the whole 90 minutes.”

And believe they did against Albion, and in their first win of the season against SUNY- Brockport.

Alma is currently 2-1 in MIAA play (3-1 overall) with wins over Adrian College and Tri-State University. The Scots lone loss came at Kalamazoo College.

“Every game we have played, we have seen some really good stuff,” midfielder Carrie Orr said.

“We have played some of the best teams around. We know that, and we think we can play with anyone.”

Play will begin at 2 p.m. on Alma’s field Saturday afternoon.