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SMC Soccer: Hopeful Belles face Holy Cross

Katelyn Grabrek | Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Belles hope to rebound from a disastrous 2008 campaign when they host Holy Cross in their home opener at 4 p.m. Saint Mary’s went 2-13-1 last season and 1-7 in the MIAA.

The players have been training for two weeks, and second-year head coach Ryan Crabbe wants to see how the team responds to a more competitive atmosphere.

“There are some new faces in the lineup along with some returning players in new positions,” Crabbe said. “I’d like to see us get off to a positive start; however, I do expect some nervous energy and there will be mistakes.”

The team has seven freshmen on the roster to open the season and Crabbe will look to them along with 17 returning players to help improve.

“They have done quite well so far,” Crabbe said. “There are two in particular that will be called on to start and contribute. We have added depth at goalkeeper as well which was by far for our biggest priority coming into the 2009 season.”

The Belles are returning eight players this fall that scored at least two goals last season to provide some offensive support.

Senior Micki Hedinger will be a major offensive weapon for the Belles this season again. She scored eight goals last season and, along with senior Sam Smogor and sophomore Katelyn Tondo-Steele, will look to provide a strong attack.

“From an attacking perspective I have high expectations from Micki Hedinger, Sam Smogor, and Katelyn Tondo-Steele,” Crabbe said. “In addition, Colleen Ferguson, Jess Slean and Keely Noonan bring a full season of playing together in the midfield this year.”

Crabbe also said he believes the defense has enough returning starters and depth to improve dramatically from last season.

“On our backline sees two new faces, Corissa Hart and Taylor Paton joining Bridget Ronanyne and Michelle Marshall,” Crabbe said. “Also, we get Katie Wehrli back in 2009 after she missed much of 2008. I expect every player on our roster to contribute this fall.”

Hedinger, and Tondo-Steele were second and third on the team respectively in scoring last season.

With last season’s centralized scoring attacks, Crabbe hopes for everyone to contribute this season.

“I am looking for a good competitive attitude from all of our players, regardless of their role on the field,” Crabbe said. “Our energy level when we defend will be important. Finally, we need our attacking players to take greater responsibility in front of goal this year. In 2008 we spent too much time waiting for one player to score all of our goals. This year we have quite a few players capable of contributing on the scoresheet.”

After taking on Holy Cross today, the Belles will travel to Danville, Ky. this weekend to take part in the Centre College Tournament where they will face teams from Centre and Trannsylvania College.