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SMC Lacrosse

Vanneste keys Saint Mary’s in split

| Thursday, April 9, 2015

Saint Mary’s split a recent pair of conference matches, with 13-9 victory over Adrian on Friday before suffering a 12-9 loss to Olivet on Tuesday.

The Belles (5-6, 1-2 MIAA) fell behind early Friday, as the Bulldogs (0-7, 0-3 MIAA) scored three times in the first eight minutes to take an early lead before sophomore attack Emilie Vanneste led Saint Mary’s to the comeback victory.

Junior defender Kristen Whalen heads upfield during the Belles’ 16-4 win over Illinois Tech on April 5, 2014 .Caroline Genco | The Observer

Junior defender Kristen Whalen heads upfield during the Belles’ 16-4 win over Illinois Tech on April 5, 2014 .

Vanneste scored the first of her five goals to spark a run that saw the Belles score four straight goals to take their first lead of the game.

The two teams traded the lead back and forth for a while before Saint Mary’s used another run to pull away; the Belles turned an 8-7 deficit into a 12-8 lead over the course of 10 minutes to secure their victory.

The second half of play saw the Belles dominate in possession, recording 18 shots against the Bulldogs’s 5 in the last 30 minutes.

Saint Mary’s also lead in transition, winning 37 ground balls to Adrian’s 24 and committing only 16 turnovers to Adrian’s 26.

For Belles head coach Amy Long, controlling possession is a big part of what makes her team successful.

“Winning the draw and gaining possession is huge in our game,” she said. “We would always like to win the majority of the draws in a game and were even on draws with Adrian on Friday.”

A pair of first-years played key roles for the Belles in the win; attack Hanna Makowski scored three goals on three shots and also tallied an assist while midfielder Clare Theisen scored four goals and collected eight ground balls.

“Makowski had a great game on Friday and put the ball in the back of the net to tie the game twice,” she said. “She came up with great goals when we needed them most and helped shift the momentum of the game in our favor. Clare Theisen also had an outstanding game with four goals and one assist. She also led our team in ground balls with eight and draw controls with three.

“We were able to outshoot Adrian by such a large margin in the second half because we possessed the ball. We took care of the ball and had better transitions up field which increased our clear percentage in the second half. Our defense did a solid job of allowing few shots during the second half as well. We forced 17 turnovers in the second half compared to nine in the first half.”

Tuesday was a different story, as the Belles were not able to come back from an early deficit.

Saint Mary’s tallied just twice in the first half and trailed by four at halftime, as Olivet (5-5, 1-2) controlled six of nine draws and outshot Saint Mary’s 11-3.

The second half was a different tale, however, as Saint Mary’s made an attempt at a comeback. The Belles outshot the Comets 16-12 and outscored them 7-6 on the scoreboard, but it was not enough to seal the deal.

Vanneste scored twice in the second half and leads the Belles with 32 goals in the last seven games.

The Belles continue their conference schedule Saturday as they travel to Angola, Indiana, to take on Trine at 1 p.m.

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