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SMC Soccer: SMC’s offense leads to recovery from defeat

Kate Grabarek | Monday, September 14, 2009

Otterbin shut out Saint Mary’s Friday before the Belles’ offense erupted for five goals against Manchester Sunday.

Saint Mary’s and Otterbin remained scoreless through 50 minutes before senior goalkeeper Patty Duffy allowed an Otterbin shot past her. Duffy made six saves in the game prior to allowing two goals in the 2-0 defeat.

“Duffy has a tremendous competitive spirit,” Belles coach Ryan Crabbe said. “She has spent many extra hours on her own in order to get better at her position. Having a full season in 2008 and the number of minutes she played should translate into an advantage for her coming into the 2009 season that she did not have last year.”

Senior Sam Smogor also was key for the Belles in the loss, as she registered the only shot in the game, which was blocked from 18 yards away.

“From an attacking perspective I have high expectations from Micki Hedinger, Sam Smogor and Katelyn Tondo-Steel,” Crabbe said. “In addition, Colleen Ferguson, Jess Slean and Keely Noonan bring a full season of playing together in the midfield this year.”

After winning their first contest of the season the Belles have spiraled downward by losing their last three contests. However, the Belles have been in big tournaments against teams that have made NCAA Tournament appearances, not scoring any goals in the last three contests.

“I am looking for a good competitive attitude from all of our players, regardless of their role on the field,” Crabbe said. “Our energy level when we defend will be important. Finally, we need our attacking players to take greater responsibility in front of goal this year. In 2008 we spent too much time waiting for one player to score all of our goals. This year we have quite a few players capable of contributing on the score sheet.”

In the final game of the tournament the Belles offense exploded for five goals in a 5-1 victory over Manchester College.

Ferguson and Hedinger scored back-to-back goals within 22 seconds of each other in the second half to propel the Belles to the victory.

Freshman Ashley Morfin recorded her first goal as a Belle to give Saint Mary’s a 3-1 advantage, which Smogor followed up 10 minutes later.

Katie Durkin also contributed a goal and Sam Goudreau picked up the assist in the Belles rout.

The Belles will next travel to Illinois Wesleyan on Wednesday with the game beginning at 7 p.m.