Belles stumble in opening MIAA action
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Ten goals were scored in all, as Saint Mary’s was defeated 7-3 in a high-scoring encounter with Olivet.
The Belles (1-4-0, 0-3-0 MIAA) looked to get off to a strong start, scoring first in under five minutes thanks to freshman midfielder Kellen Hinchley. The Comets (3-1-1, 1-0-1) turned the score around by halftime, however, with two goals in the 13th and 32nd minutes.
The second half of the game became a goal fest, starting when the Belles were awarded a penalty, which was dispatched by senior forward Liza Felix. The Comets began to pull away, though, scoring the next three goals of the game, including a 35-yard strike and a penalty of their own. Senior midfielder Kate Vasile got one back for the Belles inside the last 15 minutes, but the Comets still found enough time to score two more.
The game is the highest-scoring Saint Mary’s soccer match since an 8-2 victory over Tri-State (now known as Trine) in October 2007.
In their second game of the weekend, the Belles were shut out on the road by Kalamazoo, 5-0. The match was tied at halftime, though the Hornets (3-2-1, 2-0-1) peppered Belles freshman goalie Thallia Robles with shots. Once Kalamazoo freshman midfielder Rosella LoChirco found the back of the net in the 68th minute, the floodgates opened, and the Hornets scored four more goals over the game’s final 20 minutes to complete the 5-0 win.
The Belles’ next action will be against Trine on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Angola, Indiana.
The Belles were swept in both of their opening MIAA encounters on the weekend, losing to Adrian (25-16, 25-23, 25-21) and Calvin (25-14, 25-15, 25-17).
Against Adrian, the Belles (1-6, 0-2 MIAA) faced an early deficit in the first set, going down 4-0 and 17-10 before eventually losing the set 25-16.
The Belles fared better in the next two sets, even building a 13-5 lead in the second after a 10-2 run, but the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-0) fought back and won the set 25-23. In the third set, the Belles held a lead through most of the set, but eventually found themselves trailing 19-18; the Bulldogs held on for the victory.
Against Calvin, (6-0, 3-0), the Belles struggled to gain a foothold in the game, trailing 10-3 in the first set. After a timeout, Saint Mary’s made a five-point run to bring the score to 10-8 and held steady at 11-10 a few points later. But the Knights found a way to manage a six-point run and took control of the game, eventually winning 25-14. The Belles again struggled in the second set and trailed 10-5 early on. The Belles did make an offensive push and went even with the Knights in the latter half of the set, but the early deficit was too much to overcome and the Belles fell 25-15. In the third set, the Belles had the score tied at 10-10, but were unable to hold on, losing 25-17, as the Knights took the match 3-0.
The Belles will travel to Kalamazoo on Wednesday for their next game, which begins at 7 p.m.
Over the weekend, the Belles took first place in the Hanover Fall Classic. The first day ended after only nine holes due to rainy weather conditions. Freshman Lauren Read scored a 1-over-par 37, which was good for the lead after the first day of competition. Senior Ali Mahoney finished the day not far behind in second out of the 50 golfers. The team shot a 158 for the round, giving it the top spot and a one-stroke lead over Hanover.
Junior Kaitlyn Cartone said she thought the team played well despite the rainy weather.
“We battled some rough conditions with thunderstorms which called the tournament to only nine holes,” Cartone said. “At the end of the day, we were in the lead by only one stroke and we knew that going into the next day we had to pull ahead further.”
The momentum continued to day two for the Belles. It was an 18-hole day, with the nine uncompleted holes from the previous day remaining unfinished. Read had another impressive day – shooting a 5-over-par 77, good enough to finish tournament medalist. Cartone commented on Read’s round, saying Read helped the team pull out the victory.
“Lauren Read, a freshman on the team, earned tournament medalist posting a 77 on Sunday,” Cartone said. “That helped us take the title of tournament champions with a score of 320, one of the lowest scores in school history.”
Sophomore Taylor Kehoe earned second place individually with 12 pars and a score of 6-over-par 78 for the day, while senior Ali Mahoney finished third at an eight-over-par-80 and tied Kehoe with 12 pars on the round. Saint Mary’s finished 13 strokes ahead of the second place team, tournament host Hanover.
The Belles play in the first MIAA Jamboree of the season next Monday, beginning at 1 pm at The Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, Michigan.