Saint Mary’s falls to Elmhurst, prepares to face new teams
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Despite establishing an early 2-0 lead, Saint Mary’s fell victim to an 8-0 scoring run en route to their 14-5 loss to Elmhurst on Saturday.
Sophomore goalkeeper Shannon Weyer established herself as a presence in the Saint Mary’s net early, saving the first four shots that she faced and giving the Belles defense a fair bit of early game momentum. Efficient ball movement in the defensive zone eventually resulted in an opportunity for freshman midfielder Clare Theisen, who drove toward the goal and scored to earn a 1-0 lead for the Belles.
Theisen’s offensive production would continue a few minutes later, as she scored her second goal of the afternoon to give the Belles a 2-0 lead with about twenty minutes remaining in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Belles, the Elmhurst offense responded in kind soon after. Though offensive possessions were fairly even throughout the remainder of the first half, and the Belles saw a few more opportunities within the 8-meter fan, the Blue Jays were able to capitalize on their chances and earn an 8-2 lead moving into halftime. This despite the continued efforts of Weyer, who had two strong saves in the closing moments of the half to prevent Elmhurst from expanding their lead before moving into the break.
The second frame allowed for an opportunity for Saint Mary’s to reclaim some offensive momentum early, as sophomore attack Emilie Vanneste managed to convert on a free position shot, making the score 8-3 with 24:38 remaining. The Blue Jays did not take long to respond, however, responding with a goal of their own four minutes later. This sparked the Elmhurst offense to score three more consecutive goals before the Belles managed to respond again.
The Belles’ fourth goal on the afternoon came with 11 minutes remaining in regulation time, when Theisen caught a pass from freshman attack Hanna Makowski and converted on the ensuing shot to complete her hat trick. Still not done, Theisen would convert her fourth goal of the game in the closing moments of the match, bringing the final score to 14-5 in favor of Elmhurst.
The Belles now look to continue their out-of-conference schedule in the early stages of the season, with their next two matches pitting Saint Mary’s against two other programs that have only recently entered the competitive collegiate field: Illinois Tech and John Carroll. This is the first year that Illinois Tech (1-3) is a member of a formal conference. As an independent program in the Spring of 2014, the Scarlet Hawks posted a record of 0-11, scoring an average of 3.56 goals a game.
John Carroll’s program is one of the newest in the country — this season marks the first that the university has fielded a varsity women’s lacrosse team. The Ohio-based university has seen a fair amount of success in the early stages of their squad’s inaugural season — they currently hold a 4-2 record following a 21-1 victory over Waynesburg on Tuesday.
The Belles travel to face Illinois Tech on Thursday at 6 p.m. before returning home for their match against John Carroll on Saturday.