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SMC Soccer: Belles face Olivet

A.J. Godeaux | Friday, September 27, 2013

Saint Mary’s will face Olivet on Saturday after coming off three straight overtime draws.
After tying the preseason MIAA favorites Calvin and Hope, 0-0 and 1-1, respectively, the Belles (2-4-3, 0-2-3 MIAA) had to come back twice to scrape out a 2-2 draw against Albion. Now, Belles coach Mike Joyce said the Belles must turn their attention to the Comets (5-3-0, 2-3-0), who are coming off a 4-3 overtime conference win against Trine on Tuesday.
“Olivet is always a physical team,” Joyce said. “We’ll have to make sure we’re up to that challenge, especially their intensity.”
In order to come away with their first conference win of the season, Joyce said the Belles will have to be more consistent offensively. Junior forward Kelly Wilson, sophomore midfielder Maggie McLaughlin and freshman forward Rosie Biehl are tied for the team-lead with two goals, but no Belles are currently in the top 10 in the MIAA in goals, assists or points.
“We haven’t scored a ton of goals lately,” Joyce said. “We’ve had a lot of contributors, but haven’t had that one or two players who have found that scoring zone to rely on. … Sometimes these [droughts] snowball, so we’re hoping someone gets on a run.”
Joyce said the Belles will need another strong performance from junior goalkeeper Chanler Rosenbaum, who was named MIAA defensive player of the week last week after a 12-save shutout against Calvin. She followed that up with a two-save performance against Hope and then came off the bench in the second half to hold Albion scoreless for the final 65 minutes. However, Joyce said because the Belles are coming off three straight draws, their main focus is on staying determined on offense.
“Chanler’s on top of her game,” Joyce said. “But we need to push through and find a way to score. … We have a talented team across the board, and plenty of people can score.”
As much as the Belles hope the matchup with Olivet doesn’t result in a nail-biter, Joyce said the team would be ready if the Belles found themselves in another overtime matchup.
“We’d love to win it in regulation, hopefully avoid another overtime game,” Joyce said. “But if [overtime] comes again, we’ll be in a comfortable setting and at home. I don’t think we’ll see another tie this week.”
The Belles and Olivet take the field Saturday at noon at Saint Mary’s.

Contact A.J. Godeaux at [email protected]