SMC Soccer: Squad battles Hope to draw, preps for Albion
A.J. Godeaux | Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Saint Mary’s seems to have gotten the wake-up call coach Michael Joyce said it needed, playing undefeated Hope to a 1-1 draw in double overtime Saturday at home.
“I think the [4-0 loss Sept. 14 against] Alma showed us what not to do,” Joyce said. “We focused in practice and were able to stick to our game against Calvin [on Wednesday in a double-overtime, 0-0 tie]. Against Hope, we got even sharper. We’re headed in the right direction now for sure.”
The Flying Dutch (7-0-1, 4-0-1 MIAA) had come into the matchup on a seven-game-winning streak to start their season, having outscored their first four conference opponents 13-2. Hope got off to a quick start against the Belles, scoring in the sixth minute off a corner kick to take a 1-0 lead.
Saint Mary’s (2-4-2, 0-2-2) came right back, though, with multiple opportunities to equalize during the first half. In the 29th minute, junior forward Kelly Wilson had a look inside the 18-yard box, but her shot trickled by the far post. Senior captain and midfielder Mollie Valencia followed up with another scoring chance in the 37th minute, but her free kick from just outside the 18 sailed over the crossbar.
Coming out of halftime, Saint Mary’s controlled possession but was unable to capitalize on any chances until the 56th minute when, on what was already the Belles third corner kick of the half , senior forward Kaitlin Teichman drilled a low cross into the box. Freshman defender Emily Rompola snuck a shot inside the near post to tie the match at one.
Saint Mary’s continued to control possession for the remainder of the second half. Still, other than a dangerous cross from Belles sophomore forward Maggie Wenzel in the 57th minute that was left untouched, both teams went quietly into overtime.
Despite facing six shots in the extra time, Belles junior goalkeeper Chanler Rosenbaum and the rest of the Saint Mary’s defensive unit held firm until the final whistle. Rosenbaum finished with only two saves – a total dwarfed by the 13 shots she stopped against Calvin on Wednesday – but Joyce was still impressed with her play in goal.
“Chanler is on top of her game for sure,” Joyce said. “She’s been spectacular. Our defenders were outstanding, too, especially [juniors] Mary Kate [Hussey] and Kerry Green. … We’re finally back to where we were last year defensively, just took a little longer than we wanted.”
The Belles now turn their attention to their matchup Tuesday against what Joyce called a “much improved” Albion squad. Joyce said although Saint Mary’s is coming off a challenging portion of the schedule and it defeated Albion twice last season by a combined score of 11-1, the Belles cannot take the Britons (2-6-0, 0-5-0) lightly.
“It will be a challenge for our players to forget last year and be ready for a solid opponent,” Joyce said. “I expect us to come out with the same intensity we left the Hope game with.”
The Britons are coming off a 5-1 loss to Calvin on Saturday.
Saint Mary’s and Albion take the field Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at Albion.
Contact A.J. Godeaux at email@example.com