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SMC Soccer: Belles hit stride with 3-0 victory

Joe Wirth | Monday, September 27, 2010

St. Mary’s notched their second straight home victory Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 win over Franklin College.

The Belles’ (2-8) offense finally kicked things into gear and scored as many goals Sunday as they had previously scored all year. They were dominant offensively, outshooting the Grizzlies 34-4.

After getting the rebound of her own shot, freshman Mollie Valencia scored the first goal for the Belles in the 34th minute. Minutes later, junior Katelyn Tondo-Steele scored the second goal of the day after receiving a pass from freshman Kerry Puckett in the penalty box, which she controlled and scored, giving the Belles a 2-0 advantage. The third and final goal of the game came late in the second half when sophomore Maddie Meckes scored her first goal of the year off of an assist by Valencia.

The Belles have altered their offensive attack to a more aggressive approach, which makes them defensively vulnerable, but Saint Mary’s coach Michael Joyce said he has confidence in his defenders to control the pressure.

“We pushed a lot of numbers forward,” Joyce said. “It leaves us a little exposed at the back but our defenders can usually handle it.”

The Belles also tallied their second straight home shutout thanks to a tremendous effort by the defense. They limited the Grizzlies (3-4) to four shots and only one shot on goal.

Joyce said he thinks the recent success can be attributed to their home field advantage.

“We love to play at home,” Joyce said. “It is the surface we’re used to, the dimensions we’re used to; there’s a little extra motivation I think at home.”

The Belles will open up conference play Wednesday when they travel to play No. 15 ranked Calvin College.