Saint Mary’s grabs first win, prepares for Defiance
Brett O'Connell | Thursday, March 19, 2015
After a pair of losses to open the year, Saint Mary’s earned its first win of the season last Wednesday at Linfield in McMinnville, Oregon, finishing a three-game road swing with a 16-6 win.
For the first 15 minutes of the game, Belles sophomore goalkeeper Shannon Weyer kept things scoreless until Saint Mary’s (1-2) broke the stalemate when freshman attack Abby Krauss scored her first collegiate goal to give her team a lead it would not relinquish.
The goal opened the floodgates for the Belles offense, as eight and a half minutes later, the Belles held a commanding 7-0 lead behind a hat trick from sophomore attack Emilie Vanneste. Krauss tallied once more while sophomore midfielder Aubrey Golembieski scored a pair in the run.
Golembieski paced Saint Mary’s with six goals and an assist on the day, setting a new school record for goals in a contest. Belles head coach Amy Long praised Golembieski’s productivity and said she set the stage for similar showings throughout the season.
“[Golembieski] was an impactful player in our offense throughout our games,” Long said. “I expect for her success on offense to continue with the help of her teammates.”
The Wildcats (0-5) got on the board shortly after Golembieski’s second goal, only to see the sophomore midfielder score twice more in response. With just 35 seconds left in the first half, Golembieski tallied her only assist of the game when she lobbed a pass to junior attack Maria Roberts, who scored her first career goal to put the Belles up 10-2 heading into the break.
Golembieski scored twice more in the second half while three other Belles tallied — including freshman midfielder Mary Grace Heller, who became the third Belle to nab her first collegiate goal — to help Saint Mary’s coast to a 10-goal victory.
Long praised the team’s balanced scoring attack and responsible defense, expressing an expectation that the trend would continue in the coming weeks.
“We had seven different players score a goal during our first three games of the season, and I expect that number to increase during our games this week,” she said. “Emilie Vanneste scored seven goals during our trip. [Freshman midfielder] Clare Theisen led the team in ground balls and draw controls, and our goalie, Shannon Weyer, was solid in goal throughout the week. We also have six players who earned at least one assist so far this season.”
Long said the team’s trip to Oregon boosted its morale and set the stage for further growth moving forward.
“Earning the decisive win over Linfield during our Portland trip increased our confidence,” she said. “We were able to see the lessons we learned during the first two games of the trip set in and saw our team make the necessary adjustments to be successful. I expect the momentum from winning on the road for the first time to be significant for our team as we gear up for our first home game of the season.”
That game will take place today, as the Belles host Defiance at 5 p.m. Long said the team’s early non-conference schedule will go a long way towards preparing the Belles for MIAA conference play later this year.
“Our remaining five non-conference games are crucial to our success as we get to our conference games,” she said. “We will learn and improve each game and make the necessary adjustments to be as prepared for our conference games as we can be. We are playing the next five games to win and also treating them as learning experiences to help us prepare for our conference games.”