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Saint Mary’s plays in second straight double-overtime tie

Joe Meixell | Monday, October 1, 2007

Saint Mary’s tied conference opponent Olivet College Saturday after two overtimes, making it the Belles’ second double-overtime draw in a row.

The tie moved the Belles’ record to 5-1-4 overall and 1-0-2 in the MIAA – putting them in third place.

The Belles were missing sophomore forward Micki Hedinger, who has been sidelined because of an injury, and senior defenseman Justine Higgins, who was serving a one-game suspension after picking up two yellow cards in the team’s 1-1 tie with Albion last week.

“We didn’t bring a lot of energy until the last 10 minutes of regulation play,” Belles coach Caryn MacKenzie said. “There was not constant team energy.”

The Belles had their best scoring chance of the game when sophomore defender Bridget Ronayne was awarded a penalty kick with three minutes remaining in the first half. But Olivet goalkeeper Sarah Weston was up to the challenge and stoned Ronayne to pick up one of 12 saves on the day.

Junior forward Lauren Hinton had another great chance when her shot in the 87th minute was tipped off the crossbar.

Freshman Julia Gragtmans got her head on the rebound, but Weston was able to make the stop.

“Lauren [Hinton] adds a totally different dimension; it was nice to have her on the field,” MacKenzie said. “She gave us some good minutes, but is not ready to play for three quarters of a game. We have missed her offensive firepower, and we’re going to have to figure out how to utilize her up top again.”

Saint Mary’s dominated play for most of the game but was unable to sneak one past the veteran Olivet goalkeeper. The Belles kept pressure on the offensive side of the ball but could not convert in front of the net.

“Finishing has been an issue,” MacKenzie said. “But we’re doing good things to create. We’re still sorting it out.”

The Belles took 17 shots, six of which were in the two overtimes, compared to Olivet’s eight shots on the day. Saint Mary’s showed it could move the ball and play physical against this team, with sophomore defender Jessica Slean getting a yellow card in the 67th minute and two Olivet players and the coach each earning yellow cards in the second half and overtime.

Belles goalkeeper Amy Mahoney picked up her sixth shutout in 10 games.

“Amy had a few great saves for us,” MacKenzie said. “We [have to] figure out how to help her and find the back of the net.”

Mahoney had six saves in the game, bringing her season total to 53.

The Belles will try to improve their offensive output this week before taking on Hope College Saturday.