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Sports

Belles, Bulldogs battle to draw after two overtimes

| Tuesday, September 30, 2014

After a late Saint Mary’s goal sent Tuesday night’s hard-fought contest against Adrian into overtime, neither team was able to produce a decisive blow in the extra time, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Belles senior defender Kerry Green eludes a defender during Saint Mary’s 4-1 victory over Illinois Tech on Sept. 2, 2013.Observer File Photo

Belles senior defender Kerry Green eludes a defender during Saint Mary’s 4-1 victory over Illinois Tech on Sept. 2, 2013.

The Belles (3-7-1) and the Bulldogs (4-5-2) each entered the contest on three-game losing streaks, trying to battle back into MIAA contention.

The teams went back and forth in the first half, exchanging offensive opportunities but both were unable to score before the midway point. Each side had four shots, but none resulted in goals.

The Bulldogs, however, came out strong in the second half and took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute on a goal from Bulldog senior forward Erin Weide. Weide dribbled into the box and took a shot from 15 yards out that made past the Belles defense and senior goalkeeper Chanler Rosenbaum into the top-right corner for her team-leading fifth goal of the year.

The Belles responded immediately with back-to-back shots from senior midfielder Erin Mishu and junior midfielder Maggie McLaughlin, but neither was able to convert the chances into goals.

Saint Mary’s broke through in the 73rd minute when a corner kick sent in by freshman midfielder Gabby Guerra found senior defender Kerry Green six yard out, whose header snuck inside the right goalpost.

The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime.

In the overtime period, Green had three more shots but was unable to put in another goal. Neither side was able to convert its last-minute chances, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

“We really played fantastic tonight,” Belles coach Michael Joyce said. “[We made] one mistake and gave up a goal, but we controlled the game … and were disappointed not to get a victory.”

Saint Mary’s has played several close games recently, losing its previous three games by one goal each, bringing their total of one-goal losses on the season to seven.

“We are a little frustrated not getting over that hump, but very satisfied with our play,” Joyce said. “It was one of our best performances on the year.”

The Belles play next Saturday against Trine, a game which will mark the halfway point in their 16-game MIAA schedule. They are currently at the bottom of the nine-team league.

“We’re in a tough spot in the conference,” Joyce said. “But there’s still a lot of games to play, and the parity in the conference will give us a chance to catch up if we can rattle off a few wins.”

The Thunder (4-4-1), after winning their first two conference games, have struggled offensively in the past four games, scoring just one goal and posting an 0-3-1 record over that stretch.

Saint Mary’s has a good track record facing Trine – last year, the Belles were able to pull off a 1-0 victory in double overtime against the Thunder, followed by a lopsided 5-0 victory in their second meeting.

Saint Mary’s will conclude its first half of conference play when it faces Trine on Saturday at 12 p.m., at the Saint Mary’s soccer field.

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