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SMC Soccer: Belles dominate Tri-State

Kyle Cassily | Monday, October 3, 2005

Sometimes being the better team isn’t always as rewarding as it sounds.

The Belles soccer team scored early and often in a dominating 9-1 defeat of the Tri-State University Thunder at home on Saturday. The Thunder were a drastic mismatch for a far superior Belles squad – Tri-State had no substitutes to fill in for tired starters and have yet to win a MIAA game thus far this season.

The win may prove beneficial to the Belles’ win column, but the lack of decent competition has head coach Caryn Mackenzie worried that, once play resumes with solid opponents, her team will be off-speed.

“I think that basically you don’t like to play a lot of games like we just played, but it does boost morale a bit for people to put the ball in the back of the net a bit,” she said.

Freshman offensive powerhouse Lauren Hinton led the way for the Belles by notching a hat trick past flustered Thunder goalkeeper Jackie Bercaw. Bercaw faced a diversified attack from all corners of the field, as the Belles maintained fluid ball control throughout the Thunder’s zone for the duration of regulation play.

Carolyn Logan followed Hinton on the scoring chart with two goals, while midfielder Carrie Orr contributed two assists. The Belles scored their first two goals within the opening three minutes of play, an act that set the tone for the remainder of the game.

“It was just a really good team effort,” Mackenzie said. “We moved the ball well. We stayed really organized in the back despite the fact that they didn’t pressure us.”

Freshman Jenny Ferguson scored her first career collegiate goal in the win and was joined by Ashley Hinton, who tallied a lone goal amidst the Saint Mary’s domination. By the end of the first half the Belles held a commanding 6-0 lead and began to substitute starters out of the game.

“We moved some people around and put some people in positions they don’t normally play in,” Mackenzie said, describing the re-organization of the Belles fielders. Every player on the Belles gained playing time and the crucial experience needed to field a contending soccer team.

The lone Thunder goal came midway through the second half on a fluke letdown of the tenacious Saint Mary’s defense. It scooted into the corner of the net past Belles’ goalkeeper Nicole Leach. Leach and Laura Heline split halves, Heline’s playing time coming in the first half.

“When you are playing a team that barely presses you offensively, you get lulled,” Mackenzie explained of the Thunder goal. “Girls in the back tend to over-commit a bit to get into the action on the other end.”

But no matter the level of competition, the Belles notched another win in the tough MIAA conference and moved to 5-2 on the season. The record is good enough to earn them a third-place standing behind current leader Calvin and second-place Hope College.

“It was a real sleeper of a game – it isn’t a great measuring tool for us,” Mackenzie said. “The one bonus I can say about the weekend overall is that we didn’t lower our standard of play to their standard of play.”