Belles rout Illinois Tech, fall to John Carroll
Brett O'Connell | Monday, March 30, 2015
The past two games told two very different stories for Saint Mary’s, as the Belles collected a 14-2 win on Thursday night at Illinois Tech before falling 20-9 to John Carroll at home Saturday.
Thursday’s game at Illinois Tech (1-3) featured an early flurry of production from Saint Mary’s (3-4). The Belles managed to score nine goals in the first half, adding five more in the second en route to their 14-2 victory over the Scarlet Hawks. Sophomore attack Emilie Vanneste paced the team with five goals on the afternoon, and freshman midfielder Clare Theisen added a hat trick of her own. Four other players also scored, and Vanneste added the team’s only two assists on the afternoon.
The match was a matter of possession for much of the game. The Belles managed 33 shots to Illinois Tech’s 10, with only six of those 10 shots finding the net. Two resulted in goals, while four were saved by sophomore goalie Shannon Weyer.
The Belles earned their advantage in shots via turnovers. The two teams were nearly even in ground balls (27-24) and draw controls (8-5), but Illinois Tech committed 29 turnovers compared to 18 for the Belles, who took advantage of the added possession to limit the number of shots available for the home team. The Belles were able to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes and score on almost half their attempted shots.
Unfortunately for the Belles, that shooting success proved difficult to replicate during Saturday’s game against John Carroll (5-2). Seven different players tallied goals for the visiting Blue Streaks, while the Belles had trouble finding the net.
The Belles conclude their early nonconference schedule Monday when they host Loras. The Duhawks (2-5) visit two days after a difficult 9-8 loss to Wartburg that saw the teams go to triple overtime before a winner was decided. Monday’s game marks the Belles’ final nonconference match before they host MIAA conference rival Hope on Wednesday.
Saint Mary’s coach Amy Long described the team’s early season nonconference games as “crucial to [the team’s] success.”
“We will learn and improve each game and make the necessary adjustments to be as prepared for our conference games as we can be,” Long said. “We are treating them as learning experiences to help us prepare for our conference games.”
Wednesday’s game will also mark the start to Hope’s conference season. So far this year they have posted a 1-4 record, with losses to Otterbein, Eastern Connecticut State, Worcester State and FDU-Florham. Their lone win of the season came against Defiance, whom they beat 12-2. By contrast, Saint Mary’s posted a 14-5 victory over Defiance.
The Belles host Loras on Monday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.