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Belles hope to down Dutchmen

Meaghan Veselik | Friday, October 5, 2007

Saint Mary’s will take the field against Hope Saturday at noon, looking to avenge its 1-0 loss to the Flying Dutch last season.

This will be the Belles’ third conference game of the season. The Belles (5-1-4, 1-0-2 MIAA) tied their last two games in double overtime against conference foes Albion and Olivet. Hope (6-6-0, 2-1-0) lost its game against Calvin 3-0 last Saturday, but defeated Tri-State University 6-1 Tuesday, putting itself in third place in the MIAA.

“I expect a well coached team with a lot of discipline,” Saint Mary’s head coach Caryn MacKenzie said. “I expect them to bring nothing less than their best.”

Two of the Belles’ key players have been hampered with injuries the past few games – sophomore forward Micki Hedinger and junior forward Lauren Hinton, who did make an appearance in last Saturday’s game against Olivet.

Hinton managed to take four shots on goal, including a shot that was tipped off the crossbar and headed in by freshman Julia Gragtmans, but was saved by Olivet goalkeeper Sarah Weston in the 87th minute of play. Hinton will be back in again for a portion of Saturday’s game.

Last Saturday, the Belles were also missing senior defender Justine Higgins, who was sidelined after receiving a red card in Saint Mary’s game against Albion Sept. 25.

Saint Mary’s has struggled to convert in front of the goal, but it has managed to post 121 shots with 13 goals by nine different players, with Hinton leading the way. The Belles have shown their strength, defeating Kalamazoo (7-3-1, 2-1-0) in their conference opener.

“We’re still trying to sort out our lineup up top still,” MacKenzie said. “We’re doing a lot of good things, and playing well right now.

“We’re expecting a good game from a very good team who we won’t beat unless we bring our best. After ending their last two games in a tie, the Belles are fired up to score, and ready after a week’s rest to show Hope the Belles are a fire that keeps burning.”