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SMC Soccer: Late goal gives Belles 1-1 tie in regular season finale

Katelyn Grabarek | Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Belles fought to a 1-1 tie in their final game against Olivet in double overtime Wednesday, with both teams fighting to end the season on a high note.

“The team really played well today and showed a lot of resilience battling back from giving up an early goal,” head coach Ryan Crabbe said. “The game was physically very tough as both teams were trying to end their seasons’ on a high note.”

Saint Mary’s seniors were able to really step up for the team in their final game in a Belles uniform especially goalkeeper Patty Duffy, and midfielder Jessica Slean.

Duffy has been a key player for the Belles this season and Crabbe has noted Slean’s improvement this season.

“Patty with 12 saves was tremendous in goal,” Crabbe said. “Jess Slean showed a lot of toughness and determination as well. It was great to see Sam Smogor score the goal late to tie the game and she was assisted by fellow senior Katie Wehrli. Overall everyone really did a great job.”

After doubling their win total from last season, the Belles (4-13-2, 1-6) will lose nine seniors to graduation this year, and will have to do some rebuilding before next season.
Olivet got on the scoreboard early in the sixth minute of the game, but Saint Mary’s battled back. With just over 12 minutes remaining in regulation, Wehrli passed to Smogor for the tying goal. Neither team could convert a shot on goal in either overtime period, ending the game in a tie.

Crabbe knows that he and the coaching staff will have to emphasize the fundamentals next season with their lack of veteran leadership as they only have one junior on the roster this season.

After not making the end of the season conference tournament the Belles will need to continue to improve to move up in the conference next season.

“As a team we are very fit,” Crabbe said. “The competitive attitude and work rate of the 2009 team has been tremendous. It will be important to bring those qualities forward with us as we head into the off-season.”

The Belles defense was a weak point this season and they will look to improve that through recruiting and getting stronger in the offseason Crabbe said.

While they are losing their main starting goalkeeper in Duffy, they have freshman Adele Bruggeman to step in and help fill the void.

“[Bruggeman] has worked very hard,” Crabbe said. “Our goalkeeper coach Marc Colwell has done a tremendous job with both Adele and Patty this season.”

Through improving their defense, and working on the fundamentals the Belles are looking forward to continuing to build on their improvement from this season.