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SMC Lacrosse

Bulldogs dominate Belles

| Monday, April 14, 2014

Saint Mary’s struggled to score early and found itself unable to contain the offensive firepower of Adrian in a 20-5 loss Saturday at the Saint Mary’s College lacrosse field.

The 2013 conference champion Bulldogs (6-5, 4-0 MIAA) erupted for nine unanswered goals in the first 11 minutes, four coming from senior midfielder Hannah Early, who finished the game with six. Their high-powered offense, which has netted 77 goals in its past four games to maintain a perfect conference record, proved too much for the Belles (1-9, 0-3) to handle.

“Adrian is a very strong team, especially offensively,” Belles coach Amy Long said. “We played against some very tough competition.”

The Bulldogs bolstered the lead to 12-0 until a goal by freshman defenseman Jackie Loesch put the Belles on the scoreboard. Sophomore defenseman Sarah Neeser added a second Belles score in the closing minutes of the first half, but the Bulldogs led, 15-2, at the break.

Adrian continued to find the back of the net while Saint Mary’s struggled to do so, and the Bulldogs expanded their lead to 20-2 with 10 minutes to play. Freshman midfielder Aubrey Golembieski, who has a team-high 26 goals on the season, netted a shot with 5:11 left and then assisted on a goal scored by sophomore attack Tess Guerrero. Loesch finished her second goal of the day in the final minutes, and the game ended, 20-5, in favor of Adrian.

Despite the final score, Long said she remained upbeat about her team’s performance.

“Our players continued to get better and had fun during a very demanding game,” she said. “We implemented a new zone defense, and I am very proud of the way our players executed it.”

On the offensive end, Long said she has been especially impressed with Loesch, who has scored multiple goals in six consecutive games and has 14 goals on the season.

Golembieski has been another standout for the Belles’ offense. In addition to her team high in goals, she leads the Belles with 33 ground balls, 48 draw controls and 49 shots.

“We continue to improve in the offensive end,” Long said. “We are taking smart shots and striving to increase the amount of shots we take per game.”

She also pointed to Neeser and freshman defenseman Katlynn Dee as strong members of the defensive squad that will continue to help the team going forward after the loss.

Saint Mary’s now turns to a road game Wednesday against Olivet, which Long said she thinks will be a good matchup for the Belles.

“I am excited for Wednesday’s game,” she said. “We have a great chance of winning our first conference game.”

The Comets (2-10, 1-3) are led by junior midfielders Mackenzie Inman and Taylor Guarnaccia, who have 31 and 26 goals on the season, respectively.

However, they have fallen short in their past three games in losses to conference opponents Calvin, Hope and Albion. Like Saint Mary’s, Olivet has struggled with turnovers and has 200 on the season.

The Belles will take on the Comets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Cutler Athletic Complex in Olivet, Mich.

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