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SMC SOCCER: Belles beat Adrian by one goal

Kyle Cassily | Thursday, October 27, 2005

It is the bane of numerous quality teams – and it struck the Belles on Wednesday with a near-crippling blow.

Saint Mary’s narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of Adrian College, but came out on top with a 1-0 win. The Belles played down to their opponents’ level, and it nearly cost them a chance to finish the season with ten conference wins and a third-place MIAA finish.

“On a whole as a team, it was one of our worst performances,” Saint Mary’s coach Caryn Mackenzie said. “It was very lackluster, in our energy and our effort, today. We were just kind of going through the motions.”

The Belles lone goal came from junior midfielder Ashley Hinton in the latter portion of the first half.

Hinton dribbled around an Adrian midfielder to push the ball up field and then beat a defender on the top right of the goalkeeper’s box to gain a clear view of the goal. She drilled the shot past the Adrian keeper for the score, in what Mackenzie described as a “beautiful goal”

“It was all we could muster today. We played to the level of our competition,” Mackenzie said of the low score. “Quite frankly, we just didn’t play with a whole lot of energy and heart today. It just wasn’t one of our better outings. We just did enough to win.”

The Belles did manage to find the back of the net again in the second half on a well-executed play ending with a Lauren Hinton goal. But it was taken away on an offsides infraction incurred during the scoring drive.

Carrie Orr played a solid game at midfield. She keyed up many attack opportunities up front, while maintaining a solid presence in the back.

Freshman Whitney Fron played well up top on the flanks. Mackenzie complimented her high energy output the entire game and the excellent runs she had throughout to beat out Adrian defenders to the ball.

Adrian could not find the Belles net and struggled to perform offensively throughout the first and much of the second half.

“In the last ten minutes, it really dawned on them that they were really in a position to tie us, or to beat us,” Mackenzie described Adrian’s late second half pressure. “[The last ten minutes] was the best soccer I’ve seen them play. They played with a lot of heart and kind of got in on the idea that we were in this and could kind of win this thing.”

But the Belles defense proved to be an impenetrable wall, and the women walked off the field with another victory in hand and another step on the road towards Saint Mary’s soccer history.

“The pace of the game suited them, and we just didn’t play as well as we’ve been playing as a team,” Mackenzie said.”