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SMC Soccer: Belles drop three games over break

Dan Murphy | Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Saint Mary’s was held scoreless in three games during fall break as it dropped to 4-8-1 (3-3-1 in the conference) on the year.

The small skid drops the Belles into a tie for fourth in the MIAA with one game remaining this week before the conference tournament gets underway Oct. 28.

The team started the break with a 1-0 loss to Hope College in Holland, Mich. Sophomore Sonya Masghati scored with nine minutes left in the second half to break the scoreless tie and secure a win for the Flying Dutch.

In the game, Saint Mary’s was held to only five shots only one of which was on net – allowing Hope goalkeeper Holly Nestle to collect an easy shutout victory.

The Belles also dropped a 1-0 decision to No. 5 Calvin the following Saturday. Senior Jill Capel was the hero for the Knights as her seventh goal in conference play brought the team’s unbeaten streak to 16 games. Capel beat goalie Laura Heline as she drove a high shot into the corner from 18 yards away.

Belles’ coach Caryn Mackenzie opted to play a defensive-minded game to slow down the quick, veteran offense of the Knights, a unit that put up six goals against Saint Mary’s earlier in the season.

The plan worked but kept the team from registering a single shot on net and very few opportunities on the offensive side of the ball.

Calvin got off 20 shots in the game, and Heline was able to stop six of the seven that made it on goal.

The senior goalkeeper captured her second shutout of the season as the Belles played to a 0-0 draw with Adrian College. She saved all eight shots she faced in the contest.

Senior Ashley Hinton and sophomore Mandy Thomson had two shots each on net for Saint Mary’s, but once again the team was unable to find the back of the net against the Bulldogs.

The tie gives Adrian and Saint Mary’s identical records in the conference, but the Bulldogs’ overall record of 6-10-1 gives them the current edge in the standings.

Adrian will face Kalamazoo this afternoon at 4 p.m. and Saint Mary’s needs a Kalamazoo victory in order to have a chance to finish in the top half of the conference.

The Belles conclude their regular season at home against Tri-State tomorrow afternoon. The Thunder has been outscored 31-1 in 2006 and is still in search of its first conference win.

Saint Mary’s players were unavailable for comment following the games.