Belles Bounced by Knights
- Jenn Jarmy led the Belles with three shots.
- Liza Felix had two shots and made five saves in goal.
- Lindsay Rzepecki added two shots.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Saint Mary's soccer team came out with determination to take down league-leading Calvin. Despite being the stronger team for much of the opening half, the Belles fell by a 4-0 final to the Knights.
The Belles won and maintained stretches of possession through the first 15 minutes of play. During that span, Saint Mary's earned three consecutive corner kicks, but the Belles were unable to translate those chances into scoring plays. Jenn Jarmy, Liza Felix, and Lindsay Rzepecki each registered a shot through the first eight minutes of play, but each of those strikes were off the mark early.
The defense kept the Knights off the scoreboard after stymieing a pair of potential breakaways at the other end of the field. Lizzie Cusick won the ball in the midfield a few moments later and played it along the left side of the field into space for the offense. The cross was intercepted before a scoring chance could fully develop. The Knights then broke through after turning defense into offense with a goal on a long-range shot in transition for the 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.
Rachel McCarthy kept the Belles in it a few minutes later. Searching for a big-five goal, the Knights played a dangerous ball into the box, but McCarthy made a diving play to stop the developing sequence and keep it 1-0.
Calvin doubled their lead in the 22nd minute, but the Belles continued to battle for opportunities. A misplayed clear found its way right to Lindsay Rzepecki. The senior's shot from mid-range, however, was off the mark.
Continuing to hold their own, Liza Felix had a shot on goal turned away before Rzepecki had a shot from 20 yards out roll wide left of the goal. Felix, who stepped into goal in the 26th minute after Rachel McCarthy had to come off the field, made a big stop on a breakaway just moments later as she cleaned the ball right off a Calvin player's foot to keep the Belles in the game.
Kate Vasile nearly got the Belles on the scoreboard in the final minute of play. After the ball was played over the Knights' defense, Calvin recovered and went to clear the ball upfield. Vasile stepped in the way of the clearance and redirected the ball directly toward the goal, but the scoring chance was saved as the score stayed 2-0 heading into halftime.
Kate Vasile nearly got the Belles on the scoreboard in the final minute of play. After the ball was played over the Knights' defense, Calvin recovered and went to clear the play up field. Vasile stepped in the way of the clearance and redirected the ball directly toward the goal, but the scoring chance was saved as the score stayed 2-0 heading into halftime.
After the break, Jarmy won a corner kick after a burst of speed along the right side of the field early in the second half. On the ensuing corner, Rachel Moore put the ball in to the penalty spot, but the Belles were unable to capitalize on the play.
The Belles nearly had a breakaway of their own in the 52nd minute. A ball played up over the top to Kate Vasile. The Calvin keeper came off the line, fouled Vasile hard, and was shown a yellow card. The free kick for th Belles was a yard outside of the 18-yard box along the right side. The upper-90 shot attempt by Kathryn Lueking on the free kick, however, was collected as it bent toward the far post.
Team defending continued to be strong for the Belles as Saint Mary's kept the Knights off the board after back-to-back dangerous scoring chances in the 53rd and 54th minutes. Despite some strong saves from Felix in goal, the Knights added two more goals in the span of two minutes to lead 4-0 through 59 minutes of play.
As the clock wound toward the final 20 minutes of play, a free kick from 35 yards by Rompola was well-struck and fell inside the 18-yard box but yielded no shot in 69th minute. A few minutes later, Brianna Hart played the ball ahead for Mary Kate McCarthy along the right side. McCarthy earned the corner kick with just over 16 minutes remaining. Rachel Moore's corner found its way into the six-yard box where Lizzie Cusick's strike from close range rolled wide right of the post.
With less than seven minutes remaining, Rompola again had a well-struck free kick as the junior sent a 50-yard strike into the box. Maggie McLaughin was on the receiving end of the play, elevated for a flicked shot off her head, and saw the effort go off the left post and just wide as the game ended 4-0.
Jenn Jarmy led the Belles with three shots on the afternoon. Liza Felix registered a pair of shots before collecting five saves in goal over the final 64-plus minutes of play. Lindsay Rzepecki also had two shots for the Belles.
Saint Mary's (2-12-1, 2-10-1 MIAA) returns to South Bend to host Hope on Tuesday, October 27 for a 4:00 p.m. conference game.