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SMC Soccer: Belles take on Britons

Katie Heit | Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fresh off its first loss of the season, Saint Mary’s will take the field at home Tuesday against Albion and hope for a bounce-back effort.

Belles coach Michael Joyce said he is not worried about the Belles’ (4-1-1, 2-1 MIAA) motivation for the upcoming matchup after the Belles dropped a 2-1 decision at Alma over the weekend.

“Everyone was disappointed,” Joyce said. “Everyone is hungry for the next league challenge.”

Joyce said he does not think it is always the role of the coach to motivate his players. He said the desire to win should be present for a team to play successfully.

“As a coach, if you feel like the motivation or focus isn’t there, you’ll have to bring it up,” Joyce said. “But the players are in a good spot, excited for the next challenge and anxious to show what we can do.”

Joyce said that conference competition in the MIAA is tough this year. With only four spots in the playoffs at the end of the season, every opportunity counts.

“We did talk about how important every game is,” Joyce said, “There are probably six teams good enough to earn one for the four playoff berths, so every game is crucial. Every point you can earn is very important.”

While Albion (0-6-1, 0-2-1) might not be the strongest opponent on Saint Mary’s schedule, it does not mean the Belles won’t take the game seriously.

“I think we took Albion a little lightly last year and had some close games,” Joyce said. “You can’t take anything for granted. They haven’t had a successful season so far, haven’t won, but if the game stays close they’ll be working hard to erase that zero in the win column.”

Joyce said the key to a victory over Albion is the strength of his offense.

“I’m looking to the attacking players to play strong and finish t
heir chances,” Joyce said. “If we have that quality in front of the goal, we should be fine.”

The Belles will take on Albion at 4 p.m. Tuesday at home.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu