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SMC Soccer: Belles beat Hornets in OT for fourth straight win

A.J. Godeaux | Monday, October 14, 2013

Saint Mary’s continued its longest winning streak of the season Saturday, notching its fourth consecutive victory with a 1-0 overtime win over Kalamazoo.
The Belles (6-4-3, 4-2-3 MIAA) outshot the Hornets (5-8-0, 4-6-0) 17-11 through the first 93 minutes, but the scoreboard remained at zero, until senior forward Jordan Diffenderfer deflected an attempted clear by Hornets sophomore goalkeeper Lucy Mailing. With the ball trickling toward the goal, Diffenderfer sprinted past Mailing to tap in the game-winner, securing the Belles second consecutive overtime victory.
Early in the game Kalamazoo dominated possession and had the Belles defense on its heels. Junior goalkeeper Chanler Rosenbaum was tested early, as she recorded four of her five saves in the first half as the Hornets outshot the Belles 7-4.
“Chanler has been one of the most important assets to our defense all year,” junior defender and captain Mary Kate Hussey said. “We trust her completely and know when we make mistakes she has our back.”
Saint Mary’s pushed the offensive tempo and controlled possession throughout the second half, outshooting Kalamazoo 13-4. In the 75th minute, Belles sophomore midfielder Kathryn Lueking’s volley looked like it was going to break the goal line – and the scoreless tie – but Mailing saved it just before it went over the line. Junior midfielder Erin Mishu narrowly missed in the 86th minute from just a few yards out, sending the game into overtime
“At this point in the year, having played six overtime games, we are used to the pressure and intensity of going into an overtime game,” Hussey said. “To us, now it’s an advantage where we know we’re in better shape and that much more prepared than the opponent.”
The victory moved the Belles, who haven’t lost since Sept. 14, into fifth place in the MIAA, with seven games to play. The top four teams make the postseason tournament, but Hussey said the team has its sights set higher than simply making the conference tournament.
“It feels amazing to finally be playing with the heart, skill, and chemistry we felt our team has had since day one,” Hussey said. “This win is just one more step to our final goal, to make the NCAA tournament.”
The Belles look to continue their winning streak Wednesday, when they take on Alma at 4 p.m. at home.
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