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SMC Soccer: Belles outshoot Hawks to victory

A.J. Godeaux | Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Saint Mary’s overcame an early scare to blow out Illinois Tech, 4-1, on Monday in a game that was even more lopsided than the final score would indicate.

In the seventh minute, Scarlet Hawks freshman forward Anida Phetchanpheng rocketed a shot from the right side of the box past Belles junior goalkeeper Natalie Warner. That goal woke the Belles (1-1-0) up, as the Scarlet Hawks (0-3-0) failed to get a shot off the rest of the game and were outshot 30-2 by the Belles.

Saint Mary’s would equalize with its first goal of the 2013 season when senior forward Kaitlin Teichman sent a long cross over the Scarlet Hawk defense to awaiting sophomore forward Maggie McLaughlin, who acrobatically headed it into the back of the net in the 20th minute. Just eight minutes later, Belles junior forward Kelly Wilson took advantage of a failed Illinois Tech clear to score the go-ahead goal.

The Belles dominated possession in the second half, constantly putting pressure on the Illinois Tech defense, something Belles coach Mike Joyce was particularly pleased with.

“[Controlling possession] is something we always try to do, especially early in the season,” Joyce said. “It’s something that’s easy in practice, but in games can get a little sloppy, so it was great to see us play a clean game.”

The Belles increased the margin in the 60th minute when junior midfielder Courtney Wright thread the needle with a pass between two Scarlet Hawks defenders to sophomore forward Maggie Wenzel, who converted the short-range opportunity from five yards out.

After a flurry of Belles shots on goal, McLaughlin added an assist to an incredible stat line – she tied for the team lead with five shots, as well – when she found freshman midfielder Jenn Jarmy wide open outside the 18-yard box in the 75th minute.
Jarmy took a quick touch before ripping a shot past Scarlet Hawks keeper Mariah Kuitse for her first collegiate goal.

“[McLaughlin] came in as a freshman last year and just got stronger and stronger,” Joyce said. “She’s someone we can count on from the attack position, and it’s great for us that she’s gotten off to a quick start.”

Twenty-five Belles saw action, including seven of eight freshmen on the roster. Joyce credits the upperclassmen for getting the freshmen game-ready.

“The season’s short, with only two weeks between our first practice and first game,” Joyce said. “It’s a testament to the upperclassmen that they were able to get the freshmen integrated into the team and develop that chemistry.

“As much as we dominated, I think we can get a little better defensively. If we can do that and attack with some more variations we’ll be in good shape moving forward.”

The Belles next travel to take on Wilmington on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Contact A.J. Godeaux at [email protected]