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SMC Soccer: Joyce, squad eager to recover

Robert Graham | Friday, September 3, 2010

Belles coach Michael Joyce knows there is still much to be desired from his squad after a 4-0 loss to Aurora Wednesday in the season opener.

“We looked nervous, we had a lot of bad touches and were playing a little rushed,” Joyce said. “I know we’re capable of doing better.”

Joyce is confident that his team will be prepared for this weekend’s tournament at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. The Belles (0-1) kick off against Carthage (0-0-1) Saturday before playing the host Titans (3-1) Sunday.

Joyce blamed new formations and unsettled nerves for Wednesday’s outcome. However, he remains optimistic that that the team will start to perform better as the season progresses and the freshmen become more accustomed to the collegiate level.

“It’s part of early non-conference games,” Joyce said. “It’s also part of starting five players who are new to the team.”

Hopeful that many of those freshmen will be able to contribute this weekend, Joyce cited strong play from midfielder Ellie Jacques and defender Anna Stollhans.

“Anna did a tremendous job of winning the ball, and Ellie was all over the field — she’s extremely athletic and is a tireless worker”.

As much as Joyce is looking for the team to improve, he knows the players are looking to do so even more.

“We have a number of players who weren’t satisfied with their performances and will be hungry to make an impact this weekend,” he said.