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SMC Soccer: Belles end year with MIAA foe

Dan Murphy | Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Saint Mary’s finishes the regular season today with a 4 p.m. home game against Tri-State. The Belles (4-8-1, 3-3-1 MIAA) hope to gain some momentum heading into the postseason with a win over the winless Thunder. “We are very confident in a win.” senior goalkeeper Laura Heline said. “It’s important for us to continue playing at the level we have been and not to drop to the level of a struggling team such as Tri-State.”The small, 13-player Tri-State team has been dominated all year, scoring only six goals to their opponents 62. Senior Jenny Sharkely and freshman Jackie Havenaar are tied for the team lead with two goals apiece.Sharkey is responsible for the team’s lone goal in MIAA play this year. The unassisted strike came with 10 minutes remaining in a 7-1 loss to Hope on Oct. 11.The Belles have won the past four meetings between the two teams by a combined score of 26-4. The streak dates back to an 8-1 victory on Oct. 5, 2004.Heline has given up one goal in each of the contests, but she is optimistic about her chances to get a shutout this time around. “Our defense has been outstanding this season so I am confident that we will be able to keep them out of the back of the net,” she said. On the offensive side of the ball, the Belles will look to break a three-game scoreless streak of their own. The last time Saint Mary’s scored was in a 3-2 win over Olivet on Oct. 7. Since then the team has been shut out by Hope, Adrian and Calvin in the past week. “For Wednesday’s game we are looking to get our offense going … against Tri-State we have a good opportunity to score goals,” Heline said. The Belles will look to sisters Ashley and Lauren Hinton to fight down low in order to create opportunities for themselves as well as their teammates. “We must capitalize more on our opportunities in front of the net … punish our opponents for their mistakes,” Ashley Hinton said. The physical duo has combined for 12 goals in 13 games and should have no problem getting things rolling against an overmatched Tri-State defense. “We need to find our confidence individually, and as a team,” Ashley Hinton said. “Despite our record we are a great team that can compete with anyone.”