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SMC Soccer: Struggling squad to host conference foe

Joe Meixell | Friday, October 10, 2008

After suffering its third consecutive one-goal loss Wednesday against Adrian, Saint Mary’s will return home to face conference leader Calvin Saturday.

“We have really struggled to find consistency over the last few weeks,” Belles coach Ryan Crabbe said. “The number of close results proves we are a team in search of our identity.”

The Belles are currently on a five-game losing streak dating back to the North Central Tournament, where they took both of their matches, one in penalty kicks, and the tournament title.

Saint Mary’s is currently 1-8-1 overall with an 0-3 MIAA conference record.

“Our record does not reflect it, but we are a much better team than it shows,” Crabbe said. “I have full confidence that these players want to succeed and I know they can compete with any team that steps on the field against them.”

If the Belles are to finish comfortably in the conference standings at the end of the season, they must hit their stride now as they have just five games remaining on the schedule.

Crabbe said he hasn’t lost an ounce of faith in his team and still believes they have a good shot of finishing the season strong.

“I really feel like this team has increased focus and continues to stay motivated,” he said.

Calvin is unbeaten in conference play this season.

This match will be the first in a three-game home stand for Saint Mary’s, who has not won at home in two tries this season. Kick-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.