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SMC SOCCER: Belles taking one game at a time

Kyle Cassily | Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The mantra is ‘one game at a time’ as the Belles soccer team looks to secure their first third-place MIAA finish in team history.

And the next step on the road to cementing their place in the Saint Mary’s record book takes them to the confines of bottom-tier Adrian College. The last time these two teams faced off, the Belles walked off their home field with a 5-0 trouncing.

“It doesn’t matter what we have done up to this point,” Belles’ coach Caryn Mackenzie said. “To make the goals we have set for ourselves we need to focus on playing well and playing with our best effort against Adrian, Tri-State, then at Kalamazoo.”

The Belles currently hold a 7-5-1 record in MIAA conference play and an 8-7-1 overall standing. They have found the back of the net 29 times in league play while allowing only 14 goals. They have the third-best plus/minus ratio in the league, behind perennial powerhouses Calvin and Hope.

Much of that success on offense can be contributed to freshman standout Lauren Hinton, who was given the Week Seven MIAA offensive player of the week honor.

Hinton also was nominated for the same award in Week Eight. The title went to another freshman, Hope attacker Sarah Sosolik.

Senior backfield stalwart Maura Schoen was nominated for the MIAA defensive player of the week honor as well, but lost out to Hope goalkeeper Holly Nestle.

Saint Mary’s played one of its toughest games of the year last Saturday in a 1-0 loss at the hands of Calvin College. Calvin has allowed a single goal all season and its game against the Belles was one of its closest fought in several seasons.

“As much as we felt disappointed by the Calvin loss, I think we also took some measure of positive feeling away from the fact that we played so well as a team and defended so well as a team,” Mackenzie said. “I think to be honest, from top to bottom, they were a better team than we are.”

Adrian has three conference wins on the season, two against cellar-dweller Tri-State University and the third in a 1-0 win over Olivet. Olivet is currently on the heels of the Belles for third-place, only one win away from pulling into a dead-heat with them.

Three games remain on the schedule and all three are a must-win for the Belles.

“Just stay focused on playing one game at a time as we go into this last portion of our season,” Mackenzie described the Belles’ attitude on the games left to play. “Take it one game at a time and be all business. I think they are focused and ready to finish the season.”