Belles often close despite season’s final record
Alex Bender | Friday, May 13, 2016
Saint Mary’s 2015 season was filled with close matches: 12 of the team’s 18 matches were decided by two goals or fewer.
When all was said and done, Saint Mary’s finished just 2-15-1, but the tight scores indicate a more positive season than that record indicates.
Perhaps one of the biggest questions at the end of this season will be what could have been had the team stayed healthy. Saint Mary’s saw just five members of the eighteen player roster make it through the whole season without missing a game. However, despite a season that saw a number of bumps in the road, the team as a whole stayed positive, senior captain Maggie McLaughlin said.
“Injuries this season were a huge obstacle for us to overcome,” McLaughlin said. “We had very few games in which every player was available. … This, paired with having such a small bench made it difficult to maintain high intensity for 90 minutes. … The constant injuries and reoccurring losses would certainly be enough to kill team morale, but I was extremely proud of the way our team handled the situation. Many of the scores did not reflect the grit and hustle each and every player displayed on the field day in and day out. As a captain, that is all you ask of your teammates.”
There were a number of bright moments for the team as the Belles were able to complete a season sweep of conference foe Trine with a 4-1 home victory on September 17, and a 2-1 win on the road exactly a month later. Additionally, McLaughlin was named second-team All-MIAA. This marked the 15th consecutive season a Saint Mary’s athlete has been named to the conference’s first or second team. Despite the number of obstacles faced, the positives are what McLaughlin said she will remember.
“Playing soccer at Saint Mary’s the past four years has been one of the best parts of my college experience,” McLaughlin said. “I have formed lasting friendships with my teammates beyond the soccer field, and I cannot say enough about their incredible accomplishments and personalities. Although this year we were rebuilding, with upcoming leaders and incoming talent, I know the program will only continue to grow.”