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Perfect home record looms

Ryan Duffy | Friday, October 29, 2004

With their season all but finished, the Belles still have one more goal to check off their list – going undefeated at home.Saint Mary’s will attempt to finish the season 8-0 at home when it takes on conference rival Calvin College Saturday at noon.”We’re undefeated at home, so winning this game leaves us undefeated for the year,” junior defender Shannon Culbertson said. “We want to win for our seven seniors, so it’s a really important game.”The Belles will face a tough challenge in Calvin, who currently sits atop the MIAA standings. Saint Mary’s has proven itself capable of knocking off a top team at home once already this year, defeating then-conference leader Hope 2-0 Sept. 29.”We’re undefeated on our home field, and we plan on keeping it that way,” goalie Laura Heline said. “We want to play our game at home so we can have a big win at the end of the season. There’s always a lot of confidence at home. We get a lot of fan support, and we’ve been playing well on our field.”Saturday will mark the second matchup for Saint Mary’s against Calvin. In their first meeting, Calvin got two goals from 2003 MIAA MVP Sarah Weesies in a 3-1 defeat of the Belles.”We’ve never lost to a team twice this season, and we’re hoping to keep that record,” Culbertson said. “We’re capable of winning. We know we’re a talented team, but we just came up short a couple times. We just want to go out there and play our best, and get one more win at home.”The loss to Calvin earlier in the year came on the road, where the Belles have had little success this year. Had they even held a .500 record on the road this year, Saint Mary’s would have been near the top of the conference, in strong position to make the playoffs. Instead, they are left wondering what might have been.”Individually, we’re a very talented team, but for whatever reason, we just find it easier to put it together at home than on the road,” Culbertson said.The Belles will look to rebound from Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Hope, their second in their last three games.”We played a good game against Hope, and we’re disappointed we lost, but we’re focused on playing a big game on Saturday,” Heline said.The Belles will receive some extra motivation knowing that this weekend’s game against Calvin represents the last home game for the team’s seven seniors.”The seniors are tremendous leaders; they’ve turned the Saint Mary’s soccer program completely around,” Heline said. “We went from being a consistent last place finisher to competing for first every year. I don’t even know how to put into words the great things they’ve done.”