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SMC Soccer: Belles fall short in season-opener

Meri Kelly | Sunday, September 1, 2013

Saint Mary’s lost a hard-fought game in its season opener against Bethel on Friday in Mishawaka, Ind.

After controlling possession for much of the first half, the Belles (0-1-0) looked to break through early in the second half. Freshman midfielder Jenn Jarmy shot from inside the 18-yard box, but her attempt was turned away.

In the 75th minute, freshman forward Rosie Biehl attempted a shot, only to see it sail just above the crossbar.

The game appeared to be heading to overtime, when a ball cleared from the Belles’ offensive half along the left side of the field went to Bethel senior forward Nicole Stellar in the 90th minute. Stellar’s attempt from 30 yards out soared right under the crossbar and into the net.

“It was a long game for all of us, and it literally came down to the last three minutes of the game,” sophomore defender Kate Looney said. “But it didn’t really take our spirits, we tried to keep up the intensity and play until the very end of the game.”

The Belles couldn’t respond in the final seconds of action, and Bethel (1-1-1) came away with the victory.

Although the outcome of the game was not favorable for the Belles, the team boasted several strong performances. Junior goalie Chanler Rosenbaum had nine saves in goal for the Belles. Biehl had five shots, while junior defender Mary Kate Hussey took three shots.

“It was a rough loss, but I think we can take it and go into our next games strong and confident,” Looney said.

Looney said the Belles would look to improve on passing the ball and slowing down their pace of play for their next few games. The team is also looking to improve its communication both on and off the ball, Looney said.

Saint Mary’s will face the Illinois Institute of Technology today at 5 p.m. at home.

“There is definitely a home field advantage for us, it’s where we practice every single day during the week,” Looney said. “So we know the field, we know how it plays and we’re used to playing on it.”

Contact Meri Kelly at mkelly29@nd.edu