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SMC Soccer: Alma hands SMC tough shutout loss

Matt Unger | Friday, September 23, 2011

A lone goal in the 54th minute proved to make the difference in Alma College’s 1-0 win at Saint Mary’s on Thursday evening. 

Alma (7-1, 3-1), the defending MIAA conference champions, faced few scoring threats and limited Saint Mary’s (5-2, 1-2) to just one shot on goal for the entire match.

The Belles had their best scoring opportunity of the contest in the 51st minute, while the game was still in a scoreless draw. Sophomore midfielder Kerry Puckett struck the Belles’ lone shot on goal, but it was turned away.

Just over a minute later, sophomore midfielder Mollie Valencia lofted a shot over the goalkeeper, but it was denied by the crossbar. 

Saint Mary’s also had a chance to tie the game in the final minutes, but senior defender Keely Noonan’s corner kick sailed wide of the net. 

The Scots’ winning and only goal came when freshman forward Mackenzie Smith took advantage of a failed Belles’ attempt to clear the ball out of the defensive zone. After Saint Mary’s kicked the ball around, it bounced Smith’s way and she struck the open shot through the back of the net.

Despite being outshot 19-6, including 8-1 in shots on goal, the Belles managed to keep the game competitive. Freshman goalkeeper Chanler Rosenbaum made six saves during the game, including four in the scoreless first half.

The Belles, however, were unable to counter the Scots’ attempts with any shots on goal or corner kicks, leading to a quiet first half.

Despite the loss, Belles’ coach Michael Joyce was impressed by his team’s effort against the defending MIAA champs.

“While [Alma] had more of the play and had more shots, we’d played well enough to give ourselves a shot at a win,” Joyce said. “We’ll move forward knowing we can play with anyone in the conference.”

The Belles will look to quickly rebound from their loss in a road match against MIAA opponent Albion.

Albion may pose less of a challenge than Alma, as it will enter the game at 0-7, including 0-4 in conference play. In addition, Albion has been outscored on the season by a margin of 21-6.

The Belles will head to Michigan face Albion at noon Saturday.

Alma (7-1, 3-1), the defending MIAA conference champions, faced few scoring threats and limited Saint Mary’s (5-2, 1-2) to just one shot on goal for the entire match.

The Belles had their best scoring opportunity of the contest in the 51st minute, while the game was still in a scoreless draw. Sophomore midfielder Kerry Puckett struck the Belles’ lone shot on goal, but it was turned away.

Just over a minute later, sophomore midfielder Mollie Valencia lofted a shot over the goalkeeper, but it was denied by the crossbar.

Saint Mary’s also had a chance to tie the game in the final minutes, but senior defender Keely Noonan’s corner kick sailed wide of the net.

The Scots’ winning and only goal came when freshman forward Mackenzie Smith took advantage of a failed Belles’ attempt to clear the ball out of the defensive zone. After Saint Mary’s kicked the ball around, it bounced Smith’s way and she struck the open shot through the back of the net.

Despite being outshot 19-6, including 8-1 in shots on goal, the Belles managed to keep the game competitive. Freshman goalkeeper Chanler Rosenbaum made six saves during the game, including four in the scoreless first half.

The Belles, however, were unable to counter the Scots’ attempts with any shots on goal or corner kicks, leading to a quiet first half.

Despite the loss, Belles’ coach Michael Joyce was impressed by his team’s effort against the defending MIAA champs.

“While [Alma] had more of the play and had more shots, we’d played well enough to give ourselves a shot at a win,” Joyce said. “We’ll move forward knowing we can play with anyone in the conference.”

The Belles will look to quickly rebound from their loss in a road match against MIAA opponent Albion.

Albion may pose less of a challenge than Alma, as it will enter the game at 0-7, including 0-4 in conference play. In addition, Albion has been outscored on the season by a margin of 21-6.

The Belles will head to Michigan face Albion at noon Saturday.