Belles finish season on stormy day

Lightning delay gives Hilltoppers time to win

By Alana Edgin
On November 20, 2015

Photos by Summer Almaguer
Sophomore Tiffany Dang keeps the ball from her defender. Dang averaged 1.05 shots per game this season.

Rambelle soccer wrapped up their season with a 1-0 loss against the St. Edwards Hilltoppers on Nov. 15 after nearly an hour delay due to lightning.

“It was a difficult game,” Head Coach Travis McCorkle said. “The lightning delay gave St. Edwards a chance to make a couple changes. I thought we came out of the break a little bit flat but we fought our way through it.”

Despite the rain and cold, over 400 fans came back after the delay to cheer on the Belles.

“We love those fans,” McCorkle said. “At the game against Dallas Baptist University we had about 600 fans there and they were loud.”

McCorkle said the fans were chanting, “I believe that we can win tonight” and he said fans like that help build the program.

Even though the season is over, the Belles pulled off some big accomplishments this season. Not only did they score multiple Lone Star Conference Player of the Week awards, four Players of the Year awards and multiple all-conference and all-American player awards, but they also won the right to be called LSC Champions.

“Back in 2013, my sophomore year, we shared that conference title so that’s something huge for us to build off of,” senior midfielder Selena Alvarez said.

This has been their best finish in the program’s history and the first time they hosted the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament.

“Ever since the spring of our freshman year we raised the bar higher,” senior goalkeeper Natalie Nielson said. “We wanted to make sure that each year it goes higher so the program gets better.”

The sole goal of the game came from the Hilltoppers in the 57th minute of the game, and despite some shooting attempts from the Belles, the Hilltoppers took the win and will advance to the NCAA 16 round.

“We are disappointed that we didn’t get down to round 16,” McCorkle said. “In 19 games we allowed 10 goals and that’s a pretty good goals against average. I’m really proud of our defenders.”

Seniors Alvarez, Nielson, goalkeeper Shantel Wittke and forward and midfielder Sierra Anderson played their last game here.

“This is an amazing group of girls and I wouldn’t want to go out with a bang with anybody else,” Anderson said. “Now that we know we can get past this round, it’s making the girls next year work even harder.”

These graduating seniors are expecting next season’s team to break their records and continue the program’s excellence. Nielsen expressed her desire for next year’s team to advance to the NCAA tournament again.

“I would be disappointed if they didn’t,” Nielson said. “We set these standards and we want our program to go higher. We want to come back and watch our team keep going.”

Junior defender Lauren Perry steals the ball from her Hilltopper opponent. During 2013, Perry established herself as a player to remember, starting in 14 regular season games as a freshman.


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