SMC SOCCER: Knights speed to victory over Belles, 3-1
Associate Sports Editor
Speed was the missing ingredient in Saint Mary's recipe for victory in Saturday's loss to Calvin. Despite scoring a goal early in the first half the Belles lagged behind a quick Calvin team, dropping the game 3-1.
"[Calvin] had a lot of speed and it was tough for us to catch up on that aspect," senior Jessica Klink said.
"That's been the story all season," said head coach Bobby Johnston. "It's killing us."
Early on in Saturday's game, it looked like the Belles may have been on the road to victory. After dropping a close game to Hope on Thursday, Saint Mary's tried to jump out to an early lead Saturday.
Junior Victoria Necreto found freshman Shannon Artnak open less than five minutes into the first half. Atrnak managed to sneak the ball past Calvin goalie Kristen Jamieson to take an early Saint Mary's lead.
"The fact that we scored first showed how bad we want [a win]," Klink said.
After that first goal, however, Calvin got serious and got back into the game.
"They completely picked it up," Klink said. "They were getting very aggravated ... They came back with all they had."
The Knights' speed allowed them to outrun Saint Mary's defenders and opened up the goal for them. Calvin had 21 shots on goal, in comparison to Saint Mary's 13.
"They scored two goals because of sheer speed," Johnston said.
Belles goalie Maureen MacDonald managed to make 12 saves, but the ball got by her three times — enough to give the Knights a victory.
Fifteen minutes after the Saint Mary's scored, Calvin's Larissa Onderlindo found a hole in the Saint Mary's defense and scored off of an assist from Julie Smith, tying up the game at one.
"Once a girl got through, we didn't have any people to catch her," Klink said.
A goal from Tricia Dyk put the Knights up 2-1 at halftime — a lead they would not relinquish.
Although Dyk scored another goal in the second-half to wrap up the 3-1 Calvin victory, a change in strategy allowed the Belles to deal with the Knights' speed more effectively.
"In the second half we rearranged our system a little," Johnston said. "We were able to negate their speed."
The Belles moved to a low-pressure defense and focused on cutting the passing lanes and controlling the ball.
"We played to our strengths," Johnston said.
Despite the victory, everything was not perfect for the Knights. Head coach Mark Recker was cautioned by Saturday's referee for inappropriate language. After the Belles received a penalty kick, Recker, who was upset with calls throughout the game, yelled at the referee, leading to the caution.
Although his team still does not have a win on its record, Johnston is still proud of the team's efforts.
"I'm very happy with the way we're playing," Johnston said. "The most frustrating thing is even though we're playing good soccer, we don't have the results on paper."
The Belles take on Kalamazoo on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
All Sports Stories for Monday, September 17, 2001