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SMC Soccer: Experienced senior Duffy leads strong defensive squad

Kate Grabarek | Thursday, September 24, 2009

While the Belles are still trying to find their groove under second-year coach Ryan Crabbe, they can turn to a strong leader on defense in senior goalkeeper Patty Duffy.

Despite injuries that have held her back, Duffy has been able to push through and be successful again this year, her second full year in net for the Belles.

“The biggest challenge for me personally has been dealing with ankle and foot injuries,” Duffy said. “It’s kind of hard being a soccer player with those kinds of injuries, but I guess it’s a good thing I’m keeper.”

Duffy began this season having notched 81 saves last season alone in her first full year as a starter. Duffy has already recorded 45 saves for the Belles this season, including a season high of 14 against Transylvania University Sept. 6.

The Belles have really had to come together as a team to pull out a few hard fought victories.

“Some overall team goals that we have are to come out focused and stay focused, challenge ourselves to set the tempo of the game,” Duffy said. “We need to come out and play Saint Mary’s soccer. I think that our important goal for the season is holding each other and ourselves accountable. If we go out consistently for every game and play hard and sacrifice everything for each other, I think we will be very successful.”

The Belles suffered eight one-goal losses last season and are looking to rebound and turn things around this year in close games.

Heading into the MIAA portion of their schedule the Belles will need to continue to work together to ensure success.

“I think the key for us this season, especially the MIAA portion of the season, is to hold our teammates and ourselves accountable,” Duffy said. “We know each other and the team is closer this year, but we still need to keep working to get to the point where we know for a fact that each and every one of us is going to give it their all for the team. If we come out and honestly do that for every game it will be hard not to find success.”

The Belles have faced some tough opponents so far this season and have had some struggles on offense that have held them back.

Duffy noted that the team has become much closer this season despite their struggles and have found an increased level of comfort with both them and their coaches that have helped them deal with the tough losses. With many returning players leading the team, the Belles will look to build on their team strength heading into the MIAA portion of their schedule beginning Sept. 30.

The Belles host the Saint Mary’s College Fall Classic this weekend.