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SMC SOCCER: Belles defeat Comets, 2-0

Kyle Cassily | Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It wasn’t déjà vu – just good soccer.

The spectators of Tuesday’s soccer contest between Saint Mary’s and Olivet were treated to back-to-back Belles goals in a comeback win.

The untrained spectator would have thought he was experiencing a case of déjà vu, but Collene Courtney and Sarah DuBree hooked up on back-to-back goals seven minutes apart to propel the Belles (4-3, 3-1 MIAA) in a come-from-behind win over the Comets (3-4, 3-2 MIAA).

The two plays were twin beauties – two perfectly executed cross passes coming midway through the second half.

Dubree controlled the ball in the right corner of Olivet’s end and launched a pass over the heads of several Comets defenders to an open Courtney on the far post. Courtney timed her jump to perfection and headed the ball past the Comet goalkeeper for the 1-1 tie in the 54th minute.

Then, to gain the lead, all they had to do was reload and repeat. The second well-timed cross pass to header came in the 61st minute, and it was all Saint Mary’s needed to take its third straight MIAA win.

DuBree said she was practically willing the ball to find the back of the net as she sent it over the goalkeeper’s box.

“I didn’t want to lose – one of our team goals this year is not to lose on our home field,” she said. “So, I didn’t want to jeopardize that early. I just tried to get it in the back of the net.”

Olivet got on the board first when freshman Kelli O’Dowd brushed the ball against the back post past Belles’ keeper Laura Heline on a header from a corner kick in the 24th minute to take the 1-0 lead.

The Belles allowed five corner kicks in the first half, one which the Comets converted for the goal during a letup of the Belles’ defense. The first part of the opening half showed the Comets dominating every aspect of the game, leaving the Belles to scramble to keep up.

“We just didn’t move well – we looked a little sluggish,” Belles coach Caryn Mackenzie said of the opening of the first half. “I think when we threw Lauren Hinton on the field, the energy picked up. The swing sort of occurred as a result of [Hinton’s] hard work up front, and we just kept building on that.”

Saint Mary’s quickly turned it around, and the Comets were able to push the ball out of their defensive end only briefly for the remainder of the game. The Belles outshot Olivet 23-10 with their rejuvenated offense.

The Belles were on the offensive throughout the entire second half, resulting in the two comeback goals. They showed great ball control and zipped the ball around Olivet’s defensive half with little Comet interference.

With the victory, Saint Mary’s moves into third place in the MIAA standings, passing Alma College and Olivet. After a slow start to the season, the Belles are on a roll and have no intention of stopping.

“This is the second time I’ve seen us [come from behind to win],” Mackenzie said. “This team has the ability to do that. We don’t tend to get really down on ourselves when we are behind.

“In fact, they sort of dig their heels in and figure out a way to make it happen. It’s just a quality, quality team. I’m really impressed.”