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Belles busy battling inconsistency blues

Ryan Duffy | Monday, October 4, 2004

Despite having one of the most talented teams in years, the Belles have faced one problem all season: they’re inconsistent.After playing strong soccer for the first half on Saturday, Saint Mary’s could not hold off Calvin’s attack for the rest of the game, losing 3-1. “We played well, we just weren’t able to put two good halves together,” senior Katie Noble said. “We played hard, and we did a good job of switching the field, of transitioning from offense to defense, but we just couldn’t get the balls to fall. We had so many opportunities, but we just couldn’t get it in the back of the net.”The Belles played well to open the game, with junior Maura Schoen scoring 25 minutes in to give Saint Mary’s the lead. Calvin quickly answered back, and the teams entered the half tied 1-1. However, it was Calvin that came out strong in the second half, scoring five minutes into the period to take the lead, and then again with ten minutes to play to seal the game 3-1.”We were so excited coming in for such a big game, and scoring first just added to that burst of energy,” said midfielder Ashley Hinton. “But our energy seemed to deflate after they tied it up. It’s definitely been a huge factor for us to be able to put together two solid halves of soccer.”Although playing solid defense, the Belles faced trouble in trying to contain the Calvin attack, which includes two of the MIAA’s best: Jill Capel, who leads the MIAA in goals scored, and Sarah Weesies, who was the league MVP last year as a freshman. Capel scored once on Saturday, while Weesies struck twice against Saint Mary’s.”Their forwards were really attacking and aggressive, playing a direct style that we weren’t expecting,” Noble said. “They were unbelievably fast, and we tried to adjust to make up for that. We tried to pressure them harder, to drop more, but they just kept finding ways around them.”The Calvin forwards delivered blow after blow to the Belles on Saturday, with Capel scoring once and Weesies striking twice.”They had a very skillful attack,” Hinton said. “Their forwards were very talented, and their offensive attack was very strong.”Despite the loss, the Belles still feel good about their chances in the MIAA.”We’re still in strong MIAA position. The top three teams are so evenly matched,” Noble said. “That we can beat Hope 2-0, then lose by two goals to Calvin, and then those two teams can tie, just shows how even we are and how teams can just have off days. When they come back and play us at home, we have just as good a chance to win. I have faith in us for every game.”Although Calvin now sits tied for first, the loss only dropped the Belles to a tie for second, with plenty of MIAA games still to play.”There are still plenty of games to be played; we just need to focus on each one, because every game matters,” Hinton said. “We’re still in the run for first place; we just need to do the things we know we’re good at and just get there. We have to come ready to play for every single game we have left.”With a second match at home later this year and a constantly improving team, the Belles look forward to playing Calvin again and solidifying their MIAA position.”We can’t wait to play them again because we really want to avenge this game,” Hinton said. “We wanted to come out this time and show that we were a talented team; we’re just going to have to prove it later in the season when we get a chance to play them again.”