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Winless Adrian gives Belles unexpected test

Joe Hettler | Tuesday, October 14, 2003

It wasn’t the kind of game Saint Mary’s expected from lowly Adrian.

The Belles played solid defense and recorded their fifth shutout of the year in a 2-0 win Saturday, but they couldn’t dominate Adrian (0-12, 0-8 in the MIAA) the way they did when the teams first met last month. Saint Mary’s won that game 7-0.

“We played a strong game defensively but could not develop our rhythm within our attack,” Belles coach Peter Haring said. “We had some good opportunities but were a tad slow to the ball while going to goal.”

The Belles also lost two players for their next game against rival Hope – one to a red card and another to injury.

Sophomore defender Shannon Culbertson received a red card in the 72nd minute on a hard tackle of an Adrian player. The card will keep Culbertson out of the team’s Saturday game against Hope.

Senior striker Wendy Irvin injured her ankle during the beginning of the second half and could not return. She is listed as out for next week, as well.

Saint Mary’s got on the scoreboard when freshman Colleen Courtney fired a long chip shot from 35 yards out over the goalkeeper’s head for an unassisted score in the 35th minute. It was the first goal of Courtney’s collegiate career.

Fellow freshman Carolyn Logan added the Belles second goal in the 68th minute, when she stole an Adrian pass and raced down the field to put the ball past the goaltender for another unassisted score – Logan’s fifth goal of the season.

The win puts the Belles at 8-2-2 on the season and into sole possession of second place in the MIAA standings, two points behind leader Hope. The Flying Dutch are 7-1 in conference play, compared to the Belles 5-1-2 mark. The Belles will have a chance to knock down Hope this weekend, but they will do so without two of their players.

“We have a big match against Hope next Saturday, and I will have to go to the drawing board and devise a plan to solve the key losses that we took [Saturday],” Haring said. “This coming week will be a test of this team’s mental strength and their ability to come together to continue with our success thus far.”

The game is at home and starts at 10 a.m.