Belles roll to second win of season over Trine
Andrew Robinson | Wednesday, April 23, 2014
With continued progress on both ends of the field, Saint Mary’s picked up its second win of the season Friday against Trine in between two close losses to Calvin and Olivet in the past week.
After a lopsided 20-5 loss to Adrian on April 12, the Belles (2-11, 1-5 MIAA) bounced back in their game against Olivet (3-12, 2-5) on Wednesday. Early back-to-back goals from freshman midfielder Emilie Vanneste knotted the game at 2-2.
Olivet countered with a surge to take a 9-4 lead at halftime. A final rally by the Belles was too late and Olivet ended the game with a 12-9 edge. Vanneste finished with four goals on four shots and added two assists.
Belles coach Amy Long said she was encouraged by the improvements she saw from previous games.
“I am very proud of our team’s performance,” she said. “Our players are really showing their continued perseverance as the season winds down.”
Two days later, Saint Mary’s hosted Trine (1-10, 0-7) in another conference matchup. The Belles tightened the score at halftime to 3-2 after freshman midfielder Aubrey Golembieski found the back of the net with two seconds left in the period.
Early in the second half, the Belles went up 6-3 with two goals from freshman defenseman Jackie Loesch and one each from Golembieski and sophomore defenseman Sarah Neeser, but a late run by the Thunder tied it up at 6-6, forcing overtime.
The Belles scored first in extra time on a goal from sophomore attack Tess Guerrero, but the Thunder responded with two goals. Golembieski tied the game with 70 seconds to go to force a second sudden-death overtime period.
After Saint Mary’s thwarted an offensive run by Trine, Golembieski netted a game-winner for the Belles’ first ever conference victory, with a final score of 9-8.
“I was very impressed by our composure in the game against Trine,” Long said. “It felt great to get our first conference win, and it was a very exiting game to be a part of.”
After the game, freshman goalie Stephanie Szymas was named MIAA player of the week. Szymas made 26 saves on the week, including several crucial stops against Trine, and finished the week with a 56 percent save mark. Long said the honor was well-deserved.
“Stephanie is making big saves … and continues to be a great communicator on defense,” Long said.
Traveling to Calvin (8-4, 5-1) on Saturday, the Belles struggled to regain their rhythm and fell behind 8-1 before halftime.
Golembieski had three goals and gathered seven ground balls, but the Belles ended up falling, 15-4, to the Knights.
Long pointed to her team’s 31 turnovers and 49-24 ground ball deficit as areas where the Belles struggled.
With two games remaining in the season against Albion and Alma, Long said she hopes that Saint Mary’s will be able to slow the tempo of games. After losing Vanneste to a season-ending injury, the Belles will play without any substitutes.
Saint Mary’s will square off against Albion (6-9, 2-4) at home Thursday. The first draw is scheduled for 5 p.m.