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SMC Soccer: Belles remain undefeated

Katie Heit | Monday, September 17, 2012

Saint Mary’s continued to prove its strength with a 2-1 victory over previously-undefeated Adrian on Saturday.

With an early goal in the first half, the Belles (4-0-1, 2-0-0 MIAA) had the offensive pressure they needed to keep the regionally-ranked Bulldogs (3-1-1, 0-1-1) at bay. In the sixth minute of the game, Belles freshman midfielder Maggie McLaughlin headed a pass from junior captain and midfielder Mollie Valencia past the Bulldog goalkeeper to take the lead.

“The early goal was very encouraging,” Belles coach Michael Joyce said. “Adrian is defending conference champion and was picked to win the conference again this year.”

Saint Mary’s held the lead well into the second half before the Bulldogs responded with a long shot and tied the game 1-1 in the 74th minute. The Belles were not down for long, as senior midfielder Ashley Morfin responded with another goal less than four minutes after Adrian tied the game.

“It is certainly a letdown holding a lead for so long, then giving it up late in the game,” Joyce said. “While the game is still tied, you’ve lost the momentum.”

Despite the late goal by the Bulldogs, Joyce said he thought his team responded well.

“I think we kept our head [and] appreciated that the game was still out there to be won,” Joyce said. “We just had to keep working hard.”

Joyce said he thought all of his players have performed well above expectations, but he thinks the team still has a long way to go. 

“We’ve had 10 different people score our 13 goals this year,” Joyce said. “Everyone is finding a way to contribute. We can’t just be satisfied with a nice start. We’ll have to keep working hard, playing well and improving. There’s lots of tough competition in the conference.”

The Belles next travel to Alma to play the Scots on Saturday at 12 p.m.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu