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SMC Soccer: Belles suffer defeat in heartbreaker to Hope

Mike Gotimer | Thursday, September 18, 2008

On Wednesday, Saint Mary’s went up against a familiar foe in Hope and suffered a familiar fate, dropping a tightly contested 2-1 match to the Flying Dutch, a match that didn’t count toward the teams’ MIAA records.

The teams were scoreless after the first half, but Saint Mary’s was able to find the back of the net early in the second half. The Belles took the lead with a goal from senior co-captain Lauren Hinton in the 50th minute, assisted by freshman Julie Hamilton. The Belles held the lead until Hope sophomore Katie Lovinger tied the score at one with her goal in the 83rd minute.

The match appeared to be headed to overtime as the clock wound down. But with less than two minutes left in the match, Hope senior Allison Van Beek nailed a one-timer into the net to lift the Flying Dutch over the Belles by a score of 2-1.

The Saint Mary’s defense, led by junior goalie Patty Duffy, helped keep the Belles in the game despite being outshot by Hope 20-8. Duffy racked up six saves in the contest, one more than Hope sophomore goalie Kelsey Bos.

Belles coach Ryan Crabbe was upset about the heartbreaking loss, but said he did see bright sports in the game.

“Overall I thought the team performed well against such a strong opponent,” Crabbe said. “I have been pushing with the team over the last few days to finish games, and unfortunately that did not happen this afternoon. I take responsibility for not making some late adjustments in an effort to protect our lead.”

Despite the loss, Crabbe said the Belles walked away from the match with increased confidence.

“The team certainly showed today that we can compete at the top of our conference, and we will begin preparations for our first conference match at Olivet in just over a week’s time,” Crabbe said.

With the loss, the Belles dropped to 1-4-1 on the season while Hope’s 4-3 record puts them above .500 for the first time this season. The two teams will face off again at Hope College on Oct. 4 in a game with league implications.