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Albion comes back to force 1-1 draw

Meaghan Veselik | Wednesday, September 26, 2007

After playing two periods overtime, Saint Mary’s and MIAA foe Albion Britons finished in a 1-1 draw Tuesday night.

The Belles struck first with only three minutes remaining in the first half. Sophomore Katie Wehrli broke the scoreless tie when she took a pass over the middle from Mandy Thompson and buried her second goal of the season.

The Belles couldn’t keep the Britons scoreless for long, allowing a goal past senior goalie Amy Mahoney 12 minutes into the second half.

“I thought we played sluggish today,” Belles coach Caryn MacKenzie said. “It was hard for us to find a rhythm, and one of the most physical games we’ve played this season.”

The tie brought the Belles overall record to 5-1-3, and their conference record to 1-1.

With the ball constantly changing possession, it was no wonder Saint Mary’s couldn’t find a rhythm. The game was physical, with multiple hard tumbles on both sides. Senior Justine Higgins received a yellow card in the 39th minute and was sent off because of a second card in the first overtime. She will miss the Belles’ next contest, against Olivet Sunday.

“In a long term view, we hope to be more versatile in our attack when they come back,” MacKenzie said. “But short term it’s tricky to find some consistent play up top.”

Leading scorer Lauren Hinton and Micki Hedinger were kept from the game. Hinton is recovering from an ankle injury, and Hedinger recovering from a hip injury.

“Playing physically the way we have been, we’re always going to be fighting some injury, but right now we’re a little roughed up,” MacKenzie said. “… We had the best outcome we could have hoped for being down a player, we stuck in it as well as we could and ended with a tie.”

With Higgins gone from the game, as well as her teammates Hinton and Hedinger, the Belles will be forced to play people in different positions.

“We’re still trying to sort it all out,” MacKenzie said. “…We’re figuring out that other people can put the ball in the back of the net, which is a good thing with injuries.”

To keep their place as some of the top competition in their conference, Saint Mary’s will rest these few days before starting the weekend games.

“I hope we’re patched up enough to go out and win on Saturday,” MacKenzie said. “Today we did what we had to do to secure the tie, and I liked our effort down the stretch.”