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SMC Soccer: Belles drop conference opener 3-0

Maija Gustin | Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Belles opened conference play with a 3-0 loss Wednesday against No. 12 Calvin at Zuidema Field in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“Any time you play a ranked team, you get to test yourself against the best in the country,” Belles coach Michael Joyce said. “I was pretty happy with our performance toady. Our effort was top quality and we fought hard, but they are a very good team and ranked No. 12 for good reason.”

The Knights (8-1-1, 1-0-0 MIAA) started strong when sophomore Jillian Honderd scored off an assist from senior Elaine Schnabel in the 26th minute. Schnabel quickly followed this with a second goal for the Knights off a pass from Honderd 36 seconds later.

Calvin continued their dominance in the second half when Honderd scored again in the 45th minute on a pass from Schnabel. The duo teamed up for each of the Knights’ three goals.

The Knights have given up only one goal so far this season, and Joyce knew the team was in for a tough game against the ranked Knights.

Sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Walsh finished with eight saves for the Belles (2-9, 0-1-0 MIAA), and junior Kristen Nelson added three more. The Belles, though, struggled offensively with two shots, both from freshman Ellie Jacques, and only one on goal.

“Our top player of the day was probably [junior defender] Keely Noonan, she was solid defensively for us,” Joyce said.

The Knights finished with 27 shots, and 14 on net.

“We played pretty much how we wanted to against them. We didn’t give up any easy chances and took advantage of opportunities,” Joyce said. “Everything would have had to go right to pull off the win, which didn’t happen, but we’re happy with how we competed.”

The Belles return to action Saturday against MIAA rivals Alma.