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SMC Soccer: Belles look to close season with a win

Katie Heit | Monday, October 31, 2011

Saint Mary’s will take on Hope College at home today in an attempt to avenge an earlier season loss and end its season with a win.

“They are a tough team for sure,” Belles coach Michael Joyce said. “Last time we played [Hope] away, and they have a turf field, which changes some things. We’re excited to face them again on our home field.”

The Belles (5-10, 9-10) have had a rough streak of games leading up to the end of their season. Seated fifth in the MIAA, they have fallen to conference opponents in six of their last eight games.

Hope (10-5, 12-6) won seven of its last ten games and will compete against the Belles to improve its record and determine its spot in the MIAA playoff. The Flying Dutch are currently tied for third in the MIAA conference with Calvin.

“They are fighting for a playoff spot,” Joyce said. ” They will come ready to play.”

Joyce said that despite the rough end to their season, he has seen marked improvement in his team since they last lost in a 2-0 decision to Hope in Holland, Mich. on Oct. 6.

“I think we’ve gotten better at not giving up good shots,” Joyce said. “Hopefully we can keep them from scoring and find the right combination offensively.”

The Belles record is already an improvement from last season, when they put up a 4-13-2 record. It will be the final game for the five Saint Mary’s seniors, and Joyce said he is looking forward to seeing the girls end their season on a good note.

“I know our seniors will be on their game, and they’ll leave it all on the field for their last game,” Joyce said. “They are a competitive group.”

Senior midfielders Katelyn Tondo-Steele and Taylor Paton have been consistently strong throughout the season. The Belles will also look to freshmen goaltenders Chanler Rosenbaum and Natalie Warner, who both held strong presences on the field in their first collegiate season.

The Belles will take on Hope College at 3 p.m. at home in their final game of the season.

 

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu