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Saint Mary’s falls to Hope

Vicky Jacobsen | Friday, October 7, 2011

One statistic can never tell the complete story of a game, but sometimes it more than explains the final outcome. Thursday night’s game against Hope was one of those times for the Belles.

While the Belles took five shots during the contest, Hope took 22. Two of those 22 shots slipped into the goal and gave Hope the 2-0 victory, obscuring an impressive first half from the Belles and the six-save performance from freshman goalkeeper Chanler Rosenbaum.

Saint Mary’s (7-5, 3-5 MIAA) kept the score sheet clean through the first half and for the first 15 minutes of the second.

“We played spectacularly in the first half and almost had a goal — one of their players cleared it off the line,” Belles coach Michael Joyce said.

But despite the Belles’ best efforts, the athletic Flying Dutch (8-3, 6-2) blew through Saint Mary’s defense in the 64th minute when Hope sophomore midfielder Cara Johnson headed the ball into the net on an assist from freshman forward Nora Kirk. The goal was Johnson’s fourth of the season.

“Hope was very good and very fast all over the field,” Joyce said. “In the second half they started to get more of the play and eventually scored on a cross,”

Eighteen minutes later, the Flying Dutch put the game away with a goal from sophomore midfielder Courtney Laux, her first of the season.

“We made a mistake defensively for their second goal that we really couldn’t recover from,” Joyce said. “We will have to try and slow them down next time around.”

The win placed Hope in third place in the MIAA standings with 18 points and Saint Mary’s in sixth place with nine. Both trail league-leading Adrian.

The Belles will have the opportunity for a rematch Nov. 1, when the Flying Dutch visit Saint Mary’s for the last game of the regular season.

But before the Belles worry about that, they have to pay a visit to Olivet (2-10, 2-6) Saturday. The Belles beat the Comets handily by a score of 3-0 in their conference season opener Sept. 14, but Olivet has won twice in eight days, defeating Albion 1-0 on Sept. 28 and Trine by a score of 2-1 Thursday night.

“Olivet has won a couple of games recently, so they are having some success,” Joyce said. “They’ll be tough at home and feeling confident.”

The Belles will try to rebound Saturday when they travel to Olivet for a noon kickoff.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at [email protected]