Belles Battle Past Brits
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary’s soccer team was able to hold off Albion to pick up their ninth win of the season with a 2-1 victory on a chilly Wednesday afternoon.
The Britons quickly earned a corner kick in the first thirty seconds of play, but the Belles would be the side to hold the upper hand in the opening half. On Saint Mary’s fifth corner kick of the first half, the Belles were able to capitalize with their first goal of the game. Taylor Paton arced her corner kick high enough to skip off of the outstretched gloves of the Brits’ goalkeeper. When the ball came down, Jordan Diffenderfer saw nothing but open space between her one-time shot and the net to give the Belles the 1-0 advantage in the 40th minute.
After the halftime break, the Brits looked to equalize with a long-range shot that ricocheted off the right goal post and away from any ensuing Albion players.
Just two minutes later, Mollie Valencia fired a shot from just inside the 18-yard box for Saint Mary’s that shot down off of the crossbar and away from goal. The Belles continued to pressure the Albion defense on the same play, which resulted on Kaitlin Teichman being fouled inside the box to give the Belles a penalty kick opportunity. Valencia was selected for the penalty kick, and the sophomore was true on her strike to put Saint Mary’s up 2-0.
Not a minute later, it would be the Brits with a notable goal to halve the Saint Mary’s advantage. Albion’s Lindsey Lubanski took a free kick from just a few yards inside the right sideline and well outside of the box and dropped her shot just below the crossbar for a long-range goal with just over 20 minutes to play.
Saint Mary’s, however, was able to respond with stingy defense and solid possession of the ball after Albion’s goal. Over the final 21 minutes of action, the Belles out-shot Albion 7-0, added six corner kicks, and never lost possession of the ball in their own defensive box.
With the goal, Diffenderfer continues to lead the team with six goals on the year. Valencia, meanwhile, added her second game-winning goal of 2011 with the Belles’ first penalty kick of the season.
Natalie Warner picked up the win in goal for the Belles while tallying a save between the posts in all 90 minutes of action.
The Belles (9-9, 5-9 MIAA) will host in-state MIAA rival Trine on Saturday beginning at 11:00 a.m. The five members of the senior class on the team will also be honored at halftime on Saturday.