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SMC Soccer: Belles to host Trine on Senior Day

Vicky Jacobsen | Friday, October 28, 2011

The Belles look to send off their seniors with a memorable win Saturday morning when they take on Trine in an MIAA battle.

A victory would give Saint Mary’s (9-9, 5-9 MIAA) a winning record and guarantee the team a record above .500 for the season. The Belles ended a four game losing streak Wednesday when they scored two goals on Albion after being shut out in three straight matches.

Trine is not coming off such a positive result. The Thunder were tied with Kalamazoo at the end of regulation Wednesday, but lost just three minutes into overtime when the Hornets’ first shot of the extra period found its way into the goal. The result was disappointing for sophomore goalkeeper Kate Wegert, who had kept the score tied and recorded eight saves while her team was out-shot 26-6.

Although Trine (3-12-2, 1-11-2) has not enjoyed much success this season, Belles coach Michael Joyce said the Thunder could be a greater challenge than their record might suggest.

“They are an aggressive and physical team, so we’ll have to come ready to battle,” Joyce said. “At this point in the season, all teams are a little fatigued and beat up. The team that can put that to the side and compete at a high and intense level will be in good shape. [The Thunder] are a tough team to score on, so we’ll have to finish our chances.”

The Belles will also have to adjust to the Trine coaching staff’s personnel decisions.

“It will be interesting to see where their senior Jen Wall plays. She is extremely talented. She’s been a top striker in the league, but has played goalie a bit for them this year,” Joyce said. “We’ll keep an eye on where they play her.”

The Belles will honor five seniors on Saturday: midfielders Taylor Paton and Michelle Leonard and defenders Keely Noonan and Michelle Marshall and forward Katelyn Tondo-Steel. Marshall and Tondo-Steele both served as team captains this season.

“I think we’re feeling good about Saturday ⎯ sending the seniors off with a memorable day,” Joyce said. “The seniors are a talented bunch and the heart of the team. It will be tough to see them go.”

As much as the Belles want to honor the seniors, Joyce said the players still need to avoid letting the emotion of the event distract them from the game itself.

“It can go either way with emotional days ⎯ sometimes it throws players off, sometimes it motivates them,” Joyce said. “We have a competitive group, so we should be in good shape.”

Saint Mary’s will kick off its Senior Day match against Trine at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at vjacobse@nd.edu