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SMC Soccer: Belles travel to Trine to play season finale

Maija Gustin | Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Belles hope to end the season on a winning note as they hit the road and travel to Trine today for their last game of the season.

Saint Mary’s (2-16) is coming off a tough defeat last week against Adrian College, but Belles coach Michael Joyce said the team is feeling optimistic about their chances against the Thunder.

“I think on paper we’re a little better than Trine when you look at similar opponents we’ve played,” Joyce said. “But they are good enough to win if we don’t play well.”

Though the Belles fell 2-0 at home against Adrian College in their last game, the team rallied for many scoring chances throughout, with shots on goal from freshmen Jordan Diffenderfer and Mollie Valencia and sophomore Ashley Morfin.

“We have some spectacular possession,” Joyce said. “We just need to convert that into more goal scoring opportunities.”

Sophomore Caitlin Walsh had 10 saves against Adrian to bring her total to 96 on the season.

Trine lost 3-0 in its last game against Kalamazoo College, making Joyce more confident in his team going into the match. In preparation, the Belles have been honing in on their weak spots.

“Finishing is our biggest challenge, so we’ve been working on that,” Joyce said. “We attacked the goal against Adrian every which way, but we’re missing that final touch.”

With the season coming to a close, Joyce said he hopes to end it on a positive with a win to inspire work in the off-season. He will also be looking to some of Saint Mary’s younger players to lead the young team, which has one senior this season in Corissa Hart.

“I’m looking to our juniors to really step up against Trine and to start assuming the responsibility of the team moving forward,” Joyce said.

The Belles have also found leaders in freshman Valencia and sophomore Morfin, who Joyce feels have set new standards for the rest of the teammates.

“I think their play is inspiring for the team and sets a level of work and excellence for the rest of the team,” Joyce said.

The Belles take on Trine College this afternoon in Angola, Ind., with a 4 p.m. start.