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SMC Soccer: Belles host Calvin after blowout win

By Katie Heit | Thursday, September 27, 2012

With their third game in five days, the Belles look to keep their energy high as they square off against conference opponent Calvin today at 4 p.m.

Saint Mary’s (5-1-1, 3-1-0 MIAA) bounced back after a devastating 2-1 loss against No. 24 Alma on Saturday to defeat Albion, 7-0, on Tuesday with the highest scoring game the Belles have competed in since 2007. Now, they look to improve their conference record with a match against Calvin (4-2-0, 3-1-0). Saint Mary’s and Calvin are currently side-by-side in the MIAA rankings, sitting in third and fourth place respectively.

Belles coach Michael Joyce said success early in the game will be key to a Saint Mary’s victory against the Knights.

“As long as we start off strong against Calvin, we’ll be fine,” Joyce said. “If we start off well, we’ll play with a lot of confidence the whole way through.”

Joyce said the tight lineup of games during Saint Mary’s recent stretch comes as a natural result of having a conference season that is compressed into only a month and a half. After today’s match the Belles will have only one day off before two straight days of conference play Saturday and Sunday. Following ttose contests, Saint Mary’s will have three days to rest and recuperate before another set of three games in only six days.

“Every year you have some tough stretches with lots of games,” Joyce said. “I think we’re a stronger team this year than we have been in the past, so we’re able to dominate some games. We get a lot of players on the field. That helps break things up and keep people fresh.”

Joyce said while his players have been performing at the top of their games, the freshmen have been a key part to the Belles’ success so far this season.

“They’ve jumped right in, ready to compete,” Joyce said. “We haven’t had to wait around for them to get adjusted to the league. They slide right in and play like veterans. It has been a big boost.”

In the midst of a busy slate of games, the Belles will face off against Calvin today at 4 p.m. at home.

Contact Katie Heit at