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SMC SOCCER: Britons blanked by Belles

Kyle Cassily | Thursday, September 15, 2005

The win could not have come at a better time for the Saint Mary’s soccer team as the Belles kicked off their home opener with a 2-0 defeat of the Albion Britons Wednesday.

After completing a four-game road trip on which the Belles finished 1-3, the Belles pressured the Albion defense consistently throughout the first half, but Albion held strong. The breakthrough finally came 42 minutes in, just prior to halftime.

Midfielder Carolyn Logan brought the ball up the middle and sent a quick pass to attacker Lauren Hinton up the middle. The pass split the Albion defense, leaving Hinton to break wide open through the center with the goalie being the only remaining line of protection.

Hinton took her time but placed a well-aimed shot along the ground to the left side, blowing past the outstretched fingers of Albion’s Deanna DeRoo for a 1-0 Belles lead.

Belles coach Caryn Mackenzie was ecstatic over her team’s overall play and the offensive pressure.

“It was absolutely huge for us,” Mackenzie said. “The last three games we haven’t been able to get the ball in the back of the net. We are very focused on our home field, it feels good.”

Hinton tallied the first Belles goal in 312 minutes of play, but she had no intention of leaving Albion with the hope of victory. Only six and a half minutes after her last goal – barely three minutes into the second half – she found the back of the net once again, this time with a little help from her sister.

Ashley Hinton controlled the ball in the middle above the goalkeeper’s box before dishing off a pass to Lauren Hinton deep on the left side. Lauren shot low and hard into DeRoo’s stomach.

DeRoo could not control the ball, however, and Lauren was right back on the attack, pushing the ball past the prone goaltender and firing a shot into the wide open net.

“Since we have changed our whole formation of players, I think it worked really well for us,” Hinton said of several players shifting positions. “Obviously we got two goals out of it. [The goals] were really exciting.”

The Belles controlled the game as Albion could never muster a sustained attack in the Saint Mary’s zone. Nearly every time the Britons pushed the ball past mid-field, they were met with a responsive Saint Mary’s midfield and defense.

“I felt like it was a great team effort,” Mackenzie said. “I just thought that the energy was great, that the effort was great. I am just happy for my kids today, and I’m just really proud of their effort and the outcome. It is just a reward for their hard work today.”

The Belles controlled the ball the entire game, moving the ball around Albion defenders and all over the field with relative ease.

Once down in the Britons’ red zone, success was not limited to the two scores. Midway through the first half, Ashley Hinton dribbled through three different Albion defenders and found an opening towards the net. She took a swift, low shot but was denied by a spectacular save from the Briton keeper.

Saint Mary’s out shot the Britons as well, gunning 13 shots on goal to the Britons’ seven. Goalie Laura Heline made several stops in front of the net, finishing the game with seven saves.

The Belles would like to use the win to begin a win streak and turn the tide on a tough early season.

“We have been losing the past couple of games,” Hinton said. “So it is really exciting to win on your home turf.”