Belles win despite second half slow down
Brett O'Connell | Monday, April 13, 2015
The Saint Mary’s lacrosse team avoided their first losing streak since the beginning of the season, holding on despite scoring only a single-goal second half to triumph over Trine on Saturday in Angola, Indiana.
The Belles (6-6, 2-2 MIAA) scored five times in the opening 20 minutes and added a pair in the closing minutes of the first half to establish a commanding 7-2 lead at halftime. First-year midfielder Clare Theisen dictated the pace of the offensive attack, scoring four of the team’s first seven goals. Her first came roughly four minutes into the match off a well-placed assist by fellow first-year attack Hanna Makowski, followed up by an unassisted strike four minutes later.
Sophomore attack Emilie Vanneste responded less than two minutes after Trine’s first score to reclaim the Belles’ two-goal lead with an unassisted tally of her own. The Belles dictated the pace of the game for the remainder of the half, scoring four more goals while only allowing one.
Despite the Belles’ attempts to contain senior midfielder Taylor Gast, Trine’s leading scorer managed a hat trick, with all three goals coming on free position shots. The Thunder (3-5, 0-4) scored four consecutive goals as the Belles frantically attempted to maintain their lead. Vanneste completed her hat trick with ten minutes remaining on the clock, Saint Mary’s only goal of the second half. The Belles prevented Trine from scoring again, resulting in a contentious 8-6 win for the visiting squad.
Saint Mary’s head coach Amy Long praised her squad’s ability to play strong out of the gate.
“We got out to a great start at Trine,” Coach Long said. “Our team was able to control the ball for extended periods of time during most of the first half. Our players came out hard and gave it everything they had during the first half, which was great to see.”
However, in what is becoming a trend the Belles’ solid play in one half failed to translate to the other. In last week’s loss against Olivet, they managed only two goals in the first frame, while against Trine the Belles found the back of the net just once during the entirety of the second half. Long addressed this trend of inconsistency as a potential area of improvement.
“We did not play as well during the second half and will be working towards playing more consistently as we go in to the last half of our conference games,” Long said. “If we can play our game consistently for a full 60 minutes, we will have great success as we wrap up our conference play.”
The Belles are off until Wednesday, when they host conference leaders Calvin . The Belles are only one win behind the Knights, so a win Wednesday could propel the Belles to a top-three position in the conference standings.
Saint Mary’s and Calvin are set to square off at the Saint Mary’s Lacrosse Fields on Wednesday at 5 p.m.