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Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Observer

SMC Soccer: Belles drop third straight

Saint Mary's dropped its third straight match Wednesday in a 2-1 loss to Illinois Wesleyan.

The Belles found themselves in a familiar spot when they fell behind 1-0 just ten minutes into the game after Illinois Wesleyan freshman Molly O'Brien scored off a corner kick.

The familiar slow start disappointed Belles coach Ryan Crabbe.

"Overall I was very disappointed with the effort we showed in the first half," Crabbe said. "We allowed the visiting team to quickly establish the tempo of the game and our girls never matched their intensity level."

The score remained 1-0 at the half, but Illinois Wesleyan expanded its lead to 2-0 just three minutes into the second half on a goal from junior Erin Kugler. Saint Mary's got on the board in the 83rd minute with a goal from senior captain Lauren Hinton, assisted by junior Micki Hedinger. Hinton leads the team with 3 goals.

Despite Hinton's late goal, the Belles' offensive woes continued in the match, as they have scored just nine goals in eight games and haven't had a multiple-goal game since a 2-0 win over Mount Mercy on September 13.

Saint Mary's is winless in their two home games this season, a fact that disappoints Crabbe.

"We do not have many games at home this fall and we need to take advantage of the opportunities we have to play on our home field," the coach said.

The loss dropped the Belles to 1-6-1 on the season while the Titans improved to 6-4. The Belles are 0-3-1 in their last four matches against the Titans. Crabbe said he hopes the team learns from the disappointing loss and that they can build upon what has been a relatively disappointing start on the whole.

"Right now, we need to learn how to win and be the better team," he said. "I hope the players are disappointed and find the motivation to take on our next opponent."

The Belles should be motivated in their next match when they face Hope College on Saturday. In the teams' previous match up, the Belles squandered a 1-0 lead as Hope scored twice in the final seven minutes of play.