SMC Soccer: Saint Mary's ties suprising Alma for second
By KATIE McVOY
Associate Sports Editor
It was a solid but surprising finish for the Belles this weekend at Lenawee Country Club. Playing in the final MIAA tournament before the championship, the Belles tied with Alma for a second place finish. Albion, last year's MIAA champion, took home the first place finish.
The fact that Albion finished in first place was was expected, but Alma's second place tie was not.
"Albion is the defending champion, it's not surprising that they were going to win one [tournament] eventually," Belles head coach Theresa Pekarek said. "Alma was [a surprise.]"
The Belles four scorers, freshman Stefannie Simmerman, sophomore Liz Hanlon, senior Megan Keleher and freshman Julia Adams, all finished in the top 10. The Alma Scots only had one top 10 finisher — freshman Courtney Rheinhardt, who finishd with a tournament low 74 strokes. Rheinhardt is on track to break all current MIAA golf records and mostly responsible for her team's high finish.
In addition to improving her team's score, Rheindhardt did her part in improving the play around her. The women who shot with her on Saturday, felt the positive effects.
"It does encourage you to do better," Simmerman said. "When you're not playing with someone who's shooting 74 it's harder to concentrate. [Playing with Rheinhardt] forces you to pull your game together and play at the level you know you can."
Simmer-man led the team with 86 strokes on the day, finishing in third place overall in tournament — a finish she thought was improvement.
"I felt that I did better than I have," Simmerman said. "[The course] was a lot nicer which made it easier to play."
Hanlon and Keleher both shot 89 for the day, tying for sixth place. Adams came close behind with 90 strokes, a score that was good enough for a ninth place finish.
Following last Tuesday's third place finish at the Medalist course, the Belles were looking to improve play. They did on Saturday.
"We played much better," Pekarek said. "This course is much more playable."
As the Belles look ahead to the MIAA Champion-ships, which will be held at their home course on Saturday, they want to make some improvements. Although she was happy with her team's performance, Pekarek sees room for some changes before Saturday.
"I was happy with [the way the team played]," she said. "I think that we're still making some mental errors and we ned to work on some course management skills."
The Belles will play next at the MIAA Championships at Brookwood golf course on Friday at 8 a.m.
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, September 25, 2001