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SMC Soccer: Belles earn first win of season

Dan Murphy | Monday, September 18, 2006

Michelle Daly’s controversial goal with 19 seconds remaining in the second overtime Sunday gave North Central a 2-1 victory over Saint Mary’s and concluded the Sal Vaccaro Invitational in Naperville, Ill.

Daly seemed to be offsides, but the referee did not stop play and with a head start Daly was able to break away from the pack of defenders and beat goaltender Laura Heline.

The winning goal was Daly’s second of the game – the first came 13 minutes into the match as she beat a Belles’ defender and chipped a shot over Heline’s head. The Cardinals’ star player had four goals in her two games during the tournament, helping North Central capture its third consecutive Vaccaro Invitational championship.

“It was difficult to lose on a goal that should have been called back because the player was offsides…but we put up a solid fight throughout the game,” senior Caroline Stancukas said. “I can honestly say that there is not one person who stepped on the field who did not player her heart out.”

Saint Mary’s made the game interesting when Stancukas headed a crossing pass in for the Belles in the 71st minute. The speedy senior made a diving leap and connected with freshman defender Bridget Roynane’s feed on a free kick from just outside the box.

The goal was Stancukas’s first of her career. The senior has played consistently over the past four years and contributed many assists, but had not put one between the pipes prior to Sunday’s game.

Saturday’s game was a different story for the Belles

Saint Mary’s 4

Mount Mercy 1

The team registered its first win of the season as the Belles took down Mount Mercy in the first game of the tournament. Saint Mary’s looked to be in charge throughout the contest, playing with a higher intensity and efficiency than the Mustangs.

“We played with great energy, were first to 50/50 balls, anticipated runs, strung quick passes together, and found the back of the net. We were the stronger team and the Hintons had a field day with the goalkeeper,” Stancukas said.

Senior captain Ashley Hinton had a hat trick to lead the Belles to victory. She opened up the scoring in the middle of the first half with a pass from Samantha Goudreau. She later added two more unassisted goals within four minutes of each other in the second half. Sophomore Lauren Hinton also added a goal – her third of the season – late in the game.

Saint Mary’s outshot the Mustangs 21-4. Keri Ludwig scored the lone goal for Mount Mercy, but it was a meaningless goal with only eight minutes remaining in the contest.