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SMC Soccer: Belles’ tough season continues with loss

Dan Murphy | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Playing in a pouring rain, Saint Mary’s fell once again Tuesday, losing a tough game to undefeated Calvin.

The cold and wet field conditions made for a sloppy 6-1 victory for the Knights (6-0).

“The weather made it a tough game but both teams had the same conditions,” Belles assistant coach Maja Hansen said. “It was a tough day we somethings well but certainly have some room for improvement,”

Hansen – a first team All-American at the New Hampshire in 1995 – is now in her third year with the team.

The Belles (1-4) started off well as sophomore forward Lauren Hinton notched her fourth goal of the season less than 15 minutes into the contest. Hinton worked the ball up the field winning several tackles along the way and let a shot rip from just outside the 18-yard box.

Hinton and senior sister Ashley Hinton worked hard on offense but were unable to put together any more quality scoring opportunities against the frugal Calvin defense. The Knights have a 0.5 goals against average through their first eight games.

Calvin registered its first goal midway through the first half when senior Sarah Weesies received a pass from junior midfielder Kate Otten and beat Saint Mary’s goalkeeper Laura Heline. The Knights were able to strike twice more before the end of the half to take a 3-1 lead into the intermission.

The second half did not get much better for the Belles who were seemingly overpowered by the powerful Calvin attack.

The young Saint Mary’s defense struggled to keep up and allowed three more goals in the second half on a few defensive miscues. Weesies, Knights sophomore Elizabeth Ribbens and senior Jill Capel all added goals.

“It was the usual people we are familiar with at Calvin that put up the points, they have a very fast and experienced team,” Hansen said.

The Knights were able to get off a flurry of shots, many of them from quality scoring position. Despite the score, Hansen said, Heline played a solid game in net for the Belles, coming up with big save after big save to keep the score from getting out of hand.

“The biggest positive of the game was definitely Heline, she got a couple of very nice compliments from the Calvin coaching staff at the end of the day,” Hansen said.

Calvin, the defending MIAA champion, will be the team to beat once again in the conference this year. The Belles were iptimistic following the game, knowing that they had seen the best.

“I don’t think that this is discouraging,” Hansen said. “The team knows that this season is a process and we will be ready the second time around.”