Belles stumble against Polar Bears
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, March 21, 2016
Saint Mary’s suffered its third loss of the season Saturday, falling on the road to Ohio Northern, 10-7.
The game got off to a quick start, as the Polar Bears (2-4) scored first before Belles sophomore midfielder Clare Theisen responded just three minutes later to pull the game back to a 1-1 tie.
However, Polar Bears freshman midfielder Alexandra Miller went on to score three unanswered goals, two of which were free-position goals, to give Ohio Northern a lead it would not relinquish. The Belles (2-3) kept fighting, however, and pulled the game closer following a goal by freshman midfielder Kate Kelly.
Following another goal by the Polar Bears, Belles captain and junior goalkeeper Shannon Weyer, who had given up five goals and had made only three saves in the game, was replaced with freshman goalkeeper Cara Givens. The Belles then conceded another goal before the end of the half, giving the Polar Bears a 6-2 advantage at the break.
The Belles struggled to take advantage of the Polar Bears’ mistakes, as they failed to capitalize on the four free-position shots they were given or take advantage of the 17 turnovers by Ohio Northern in the first half.
The Belles were able to turn the game around in the second period, however, especially on the offensive side of the ball, as they outscored the Polar Bears five goals to four. Theisen scored three of those goals, one of which came on a free-position shot. The other two goals were unassisted, which was a trend for the Belles as five of their seven goals in the game were scored without an assist or on a free-position shot. Sophomore attack Hanna Makowski scored one goal, but the Polar Bears answered with two additional scores of their own. Kelly capped off the Belles’ tally on the day by scoring with eight minutes left in the game, bringing the game to a score of 10-7 in favor of Ohio Northern, which was where the game stood until the final buzzer.
Although they suffered the loss in the contest, the Belles found themselves led by the impact play of Kelly and Theisen. Kelly added two goals to her season total, giving her 14 on the season, and she picked up six ground balls and six draw controls over the course of the game. Theisen, on the other hand, scored four of the team’s seven goals, making her the team leader in that category for the year with 16.
In their next game Tuesday, the Saint Mary’s is set to host Elmhurst. The Belles last took on the Bluejays (1-2) in 2015, but they struggled in the contest and fell by a large margin, 14-5.
Then, on Thursday, the Belles will play another home game, this time hosting Illinois Tech. They have had great success against the Scarlet Hawks (4-2, 2-1 MWLC) in the past, defeating them 16-4 and 14-2, respectively, in each of the last two seasons.
The Belles will face off against the Bluejays at 5 p.m. Tuesday and the Scarlet Hawks on Thursday at 5 p.m. Both games are scheduled to be played on the Holy Cross College south field.