The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Belles maintain unblemished record after thrilling victory

Vicky Jacobsen | Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Two goals in the final 10 minutes broke a 1-1 tie and led Saint Mary’s to a thrilling 3-1 victory over Manchester.


With less than eight minutes left in the tie game, first-year forward Kelly Wilson set up senior captain Katelyn Tondo-Steele, who sent a rocket of a shot into the wide-open right half of the net. Four minutes later, sophomore midfielder Maddie Meckes, assisted by first year Abby Garcia, poked the ball into the corner of the goal. Although not as dramatic as Tondo-Steele’s goal, the final score sealed the victory for the Belles (3-0).


Belles coach Michael Joyce was pleased to collect another victory for the Belles, who reached a 3-0 record for the first time since 2007. But Joyce was especially glad to see some of the techniques the Belles had worked on at practice pay off in competition.


“A couple of [goals] came off crosses, and we’d like to use that as one of our ways of attack, finish off crosses and get down into the corners,” Joyce said. “That’s something we’ve been concentrating on so it’s nice to finish off a couple of crosses. The other [goal] came off a nice combination from a couple of forwards, and it was nice to see the forwards on the same page early and getting used to connecting and combining for goals.”


Sophomore forward Jordan Diffenderfer scored the first goal of the game on a cross from sophomore forward Kaitlin Teichman, giving Saint Mary’s the lead with six minutes left in the first half. In the second half, the Spartans (1-2) returned fire, tying up the game with just over 20 minutes to go.


The Belles also threatened with 14 minutes left in the game when junior midfielder Ashley Morfin shot from just in front of the goal, but the shot dribbled just to the right of the net. Joyce said that this type of missed opportunity was one aspect of the Belles game he wanted to improve upon.

“Sometimes we blow some good chances in the attacking third with some of the choices we make up there. Some of our finishing could be better,” Joyce said. “We had to generate a lot of chances to get our goals, which you don’t always get to do in a close game or against a good team or a ranked team.”

The strong follow-up to an impressive showing in last weekend’s Defiance Classic bodes well for the Belles as their conference season — and tougher competition — draws closer, according to Joyce.


“I think the weekend was a little bit easier, this was a much tougher challenge,” Joyce said. “It was nice to see us slowly progressing and playing well with the competition level getting higher, especially since our conference season starts fairly soon.”

The Belles will look to protect their perfect record Sunday at noon at Franklin College in Franklin, Ind.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at