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Belles suffer repeat loss to tough Flying Dutch

Kyle Cassily | Monday, October 10, 2005

It was déjà vu for the Belles soccer team, but it was not the warm recollection for which they had hoped.

Saint Mary’s dropped a tough loss to late-surging Hope College 2-0 at home Saturday. It was the second time this year the Belles were knocked off by the Flying Dutch with the same score, moving the Belles to 5-4 in MIAA play and 6-6 overall.

In 2004, the Belles upset Hope with the reoccurring 2-0 margin at home en route to a season split for the year’s series with the Flying Dutch.

The staunch Hope defense proved too tough of a nut for the powerful Saint Mary’s offense to crack as the Belles managed only four shots on Flying Dutch keeper Holly Nestle. This was Hope’s eighth shutout of the year as it moved to 8-1 in the MIAA, good enough for second place behind undefeated Calvin College.

Hope has held opponents to slightly under eight shots per game on average and has only given up five goals in 12 regular season games.

“We were able to pass around them well, we came out with a lot of intensity,” junior midfielder Colleen Courtney said. “We were able to break them down. We had shots, but we just couldn’t get it in the back of the net.”

The game remained scoreless for well over two-thirds of regulation time, while both defenses smothered the opposition’s attack. Hope struggled to sneak eight shots past the resilient Saint Mary’s defense and could not convert until the 72nd minute.

Hope senior Negeen Masghati forced the ball past Belles’ goalkeeper Laura Heline off a pass from Erin Dargis to put Hope up 1-0 with a little under 18 minutes left to play.

The Belles forced their hand but could not come up with the equalizer as Hope notched the back-breaker in the 83rd minute. Sophomore Ellie Tresslar put the game at 2-0 when she found the net on a questionable goal.

Neither team knew the ball had crossed the line as they continued to play, only the referee’s flag signaled that it was, indeed, a score.

With the loss, the Belles fall into a tie for third place with Kalamazoo College. Kalamazoo upset the Belles, 1-0, last game, the start of the Belles’ current two-game losing streak. Both teams currently have 15 points on five wins and no ties, but Kalamazoo has only three losses to date.

“I think it was an extremely well-played game,” Courtney said. “We fought well, we gave them good competition. We just came up unlucky in the end.”