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SMC Soccer: Belles to host Kalamazoo

Kyle Cassily | Tuesday, October 4, 2005

The opponent may be faster and more skilled, but the Belles will stick to the tried and true and get the ball to brush the back of the net.

The Saint Mary’s soccer team will host Kalamazoo College in an MIAA conference game on Tuesday afternoon where the Belles will look to advance into the upper echelon of the division with a win.

The women are on a roll, winning five out of their last six games, including the last two in a row.

The Belles latest win, a 9-1 victory over Tri-State University, was a cakewalk against the MIAA’s weakest member, but they hope the final score shows what is to come.

“On the games we have lost, we haven’t put the ball in the back of the net at all,” Belles coach Caryn Mackenzie said. “That’s something we’re going to have to work really hard to sort out. Your defense can only take so much battering without some aid from the attacking end of the field.”

In the current six-game stretch Saint Mary’s has forwarded twenty-one goals, while the stingy defense has only surrendered five.

But three of those five goals came in a shutout loss to Calvin College, who currently is in first place.

This lack of production in crucial games has Mackenzie slightly worried, but she is confident in her team’s ability to persevere and play the role of the underdog spoiler.

“In a couple of our road games, I don’t think that the score was indicative to some of the things we were doing on the field,” Mackenzie said. “If we are going to be successful, we have got to find a way to be more consistent on scoring goals against our opponents.”

Kalamazoo was only able to Tri-State 2-0.

The Hornets have struggled mightily on offense after they have put five goals into the net in MIAA play, while allowing seven.

The Hornets have managed three MIAA wins against Tri-State, Adrian and Alma. The Belles defeated all three teams with a 16-goal differential between goals forwarded and goals allowed, while Kalamazoo produced a paltry plus-five differential.

This home game is a necessity to win, for the Belles next host Hope College in a re-match of a 2-0 Saint Mary’s defeat to open the MIAA season. The Kalamazoo game also marks the halfway point for the Belles’ season, and a win would cap the half season with a 6-2 record and possible move to second place.

The game will be played at 4 p.m. on the Belles’ field. The match-up is the fifth out of eight home games on the year for Saint Mary’s.