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SMC Soccer: Belles look to avenge loss at Albion today

Kyle Cassily | Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Belles look to rebound today as they travel to Albion College to face the Britons in a late-season soccer rematch.

The last time these two teams took to the pitch against each other, Saint Mary’s grabbed a 2-0 victory on its home field. The aggressive play of freshman Lauren Hinton, who notched both Belle goals and was a constant threat to the Briton defense, sparked the Belles offensively.

The Britons are currently threatening the Belles’ fourth-place standing in the MIAA conference with a 4-4 record. Saint Mary’s has compiled a 5-4 record in league play so far this season and seeks to challenge upstart Kalamazoo for the third-place spot. Kalamazoo is fresh off of a 1-0 upset over Saint Mary’s and a narrow defeat of Albion by a 1-0 margin.

Albion has recently witnessed a renaissance on defense. The Britons have allowed seven goals in their last six games, but three of those goals came in a face-off against league leader and unbeaten Calvin College. The solid play of junior midfielder Ashley Lynch backed up the defense. She was one of last week’s nominees for MIAA defensive player of the week.

But Albion does not have the only player worthy of that honor. The Belles’ Shannon Culbertson was also nominated for the award, but lost to Adrian’s Stephanie Music. Culbertson was honored for her valiant efforts in two tough losses last week to Kalamazoo and Hope.

“I felt like it was a great team effort,” Belles head coach Karyn Mackenzie said of her team’s performance in the Belles’ first game against Albion. “I just thought that the energy was great, that the effort was great.”

Saint Mary’s goaltender Laura Heline played solidly in the Albion game after making seven saves. She made several consecutive saves late in the second half to secure the Belles’ victory.

Lauren Hinton currently leads the Belles in goals with eight. Carrie Orr, Sarah DuBree and Ashley Hinton are all tied for first in assists with two apiece. Ashley Hinton takes the crown for shots on net with 41 blasts in nine games.