The Belles will take the field with nothing but pride at stake when they travel to face Olivet in their final regular match of the season today in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Saint Mary’s (4-13-1, 1-6 MIAA) has dropped five straight conference matches, putting them in seventh place in the MIAA standings. Only the top six teams qualify for the post-season tournament.
“This is the last college game for our nine seniors,” coach Ryan Crabbe said. “For the team, I am looking for them to come out and play organized and focused and end the season with a positive result. I believe it would be good for our program and seniors to end on a high note.”
The conference season was unkind to the Belles who managed their lone victory at home against winless Trine. Although his team doubled their season win total of two from last season, Crabbe had higher expectations for his veteran squad.
“[This season has been] frustrating,” he said. “With so much returning experience from last season, I expected more out of our players in terms of quality play and consistency.”
Whereas the problem early on was scoring goals, lately the Belles have struggled to keep their opponents off the scoreboard.
“We have fallen behind early in matches and created too big of a deficit to come back from,” Crabbe said. “The team has played very hard and competed; however, constantly coming from behind is not easy. The on-field concerns have been mental lapses and moments of little to no concentration for short periods of time.”
Senior Katy Durkin leads the Belles with six goals this season. Classmates Micki Hedinger and Colleen Ferguson have added three scores each for a Saint Mary’s team that has two goals in each of their last two matches.
Senior Patty Duffy has been solid in net for the Belles recording 86 saves in 15 starts this season.
Today’s matchup with the Tigers is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m.