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SMC Soccer: Belles prove their worth against conference teams

Katie Heit | Tuesday, October 23, 2012


With three tough matchups over fall break, the Belles’ five-game winning streak ended after falling to Adrian 1-0 before bouncing back with a 4-1 win over Albion. Saint Mary’s rounded out the week with a 1-1 tie against Calvin in double overtime. 

Belles coach Michael Joyce said Calvin was the toughest competition over the break.

“Every other team we’ve played very close,” Joyce said. “Even when we’ve lost, the game could have gone our way with a finished chance, or a big save. Calvin is very good and we don’t seem to match up particularly well against them.”

Despite Joyce’s feelings about the Belles’ ability to match up, the Belles managed to stay in the competition when senior Maddie Meckes converted a corner kick into a goal with 10 seconds left in regulation. Neither team was able to pull ahead in overtime, however. 

“Overtime is tough,” Joyce said, “An extra 20 minutes after a long game can be hard to get up for, but we’d worked hard in regulation to come back and tie the game only to lose it in overtime, so the motivation was there.” 

Joyce said he was happy with the tie, especially taking into account the amount of effort his team put forth.

“We had a couple good looks at goal, as did Calvin,” Joyce said, “but no one could get that great finish … Every point in the tight standings is important.”

Joyce said he was impressed with Saint Mary’s performance against Adrian, despite the loss.

“We played great against Adrian and had some very good looks at goal,” Joyce said. “They cleared two balls off the line after the keeper was beat, and we had a couple point plank chances we didn’t put away. They were able to find the right shot and won a tight game.” 

Joyce said the Belles’ performance in that matchup will be key to their upcoming conference games.

“If we can get performances like that against some of the tough opponents we have this week, we should come out with some points,” Joyce said. 

With their last four games of the season stacked in the next week, Joyce said he is confident his team will be able to secure post-season play. Next, the Belles will take on Alma at home. The game marks Saint Mary’s senior day. The three seniors being honored are Maddie Meckes, Meaghan Daly, and Ashley Morfin. All three have been key figures in Saint Mary’s recent success. 

“I think the last few games and the season has taught us that when we play well, we can beat anyone in the conference,” Joyce said. “It’s a nice feeling after struggling the last couple of years, to approach games full of optimism about the opportunity to showcase a talented Saint Mary’s program.” 

The Belles are in action once more for senior dDay at home against Alma Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu