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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
The Observer

Despite a losing record, Saint Mary’s soccer boasts a surplus of talent and perseverance

Saint Mary’s soccer had a harder season this fall, going 8-9 overall and 1-7 in the conference. In the 17 games they played, the Belles garnered 21 goals (approximately 1.24 goals per game) with an average of 11 shots on goal per game. Despite this effort, it was not enough to notch a winning record. The team went 4-4 at home and 4-5 away, putting up a persevering fight all season long.

The schedule started out strong for the Belles, as they were undefeated in their first four games against Concordia Chicago, Lake Forest, Aurora and Goshen. After an away loss to Franklin College, the team bounced back and went on a three-game win streak. However, when it came time for the start of their conference games, Trine shut them out for a final score of 4-0 in favor of the Thunder. After this, the Belles fell into a bit of a rut. They lost seven consecutive games, unable to score in all but one. They were able to notch one more win under their belt against Olivet before ending their season with a loss against Alma in double overtime. 

Some players still had individual successes. At the end of the season, senior Becca Stella was awarded 2021 Senior Sportswoman of the Year, acknowledging her competitive spirit, energy, and education and service experiences. She was a two-year captain of the team, and founded Belles Who Believe, an athletic group on campus focused on faith formation and community for student athletes.

Another senior — and captain — who was honored was Rose Stackhouse, who was placed on the All-MIAA Second Team for her work on the field. This is the third time she has received this award. Additionally, at the beginning of the season, Stackhouse was named MIAA Offensive Player of the Week. She sits in the top four for goals, assists and points for the Belles soccer program, posting nine game-winning goals over the course of her career. 

Freshman goalie Kara Stacey also received an honor from the MIAA, having been named the Defensive Player of the Week in October. She boasted an 88.9% save percentage at the time, and proved herself to be a dominant force on the field. The final player to be honored was senior Maya Cole, who also garnered the Defensive Player of the Week accolade in September. She was a co-captain this year, and this was her first time winning this award.

Looking ahead, the Belles will seek to shore up their technique and fill the holes in their roster being left by the seniors. Their season will kick start again in the fall, when the young team will go for that winning record.