Belles follow weekday win with weekend loss during road trip
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, April 4, 2016
Last week told a tale of two different Saint Mary’s teams as the Belles overcame Benedictine with a 14-13 overtime win on Wednesday and fell to North Central, 18-4, on Saturday.
The Belles (3-5, 0-0 MIAA) were coming off back-to-back losses, including a 12-11 defeat to Illinois Tech last week. The game against the Eagles (4-5, 2-1 MWLC) closely mirrored the Illinois Tech game, as the game was a back-and-forth affair until the very end. The game was highlighted by the teams’ offenses, a significant number of lead changes and difficult weather conditions, which led to a delay at one point.
Sophomore midfielder Clare Theisen stepped up for the Belles both offensively and defensively, coming up with multiple big plays, especially in the first half. Theisen scored three goals in the first period, which helped the Belles build an early two-goal lead.
Despite Theisen’s first-half heroics, however, the score was deadlocked, 7-7, at the half. Along with Theisen’s three goals, junior attack Lauren Telford scored the Belles’ first goal of the game, freshman midfielder Kate Kelly scored twice and junior attack Emilie Vanneste added another.
Freshman goalkeeper Cara Givens was given the start in the game and played the entirety of the first period, giving up seven goals. Junior captain and goalkeeper Shannon Weyer replaced Givens at the half and played the remainder of the game.
The Belles got off to a strong start in the second period. Junior attack Jackie Loesch scored twice in a 26-second span to give the Belles another two-goal lead, and it was followed up by Kelly’s third goal of the day. Freshman attack Molly Stout and sophomore attack Hanna Makowski also picked up a goal apiece during the second period. However, the Eagles continued to rally back and tied the game up before Theisen scored her fourth and final goal of the game to give the Belles a one point lead. With 30 seconds remaining, however, the Eagles scored once again to tie game and send it to overtime.
The Belles put an end to the sudden-death overtime quickly, as Vanneste won the draw for the Belles and scored an unassisted goal within thirty seconds to give her team the win.
Later in the week, the Belles took on the Cardinals (6-2, 0-0 CCIW) and fell 18-4, the Belles’ lowest-scoring output to this point of the season. The Belles defense was unable to contain the Cardinal offense in the first period as they quickly fell behind 6-0. Kelly broke through to stifle the Cardinals’ momentum slightly, making it a 6-1 game. However, the Belles did not score for the rest of the period, whereas the Cardinals continued their offensive onslaught. At halftime, the Cardinals held a commanding 15-1 lead.
The Belles had marginally more offensive success in the second period, although the defense was finally able to control the Cardinals’ offense and slow their momentum. Sophomore midfielder Mary Grace Heller scored her first goal of the season and freshman attack Anna Perry tallied the first goal of her college career. Kelly scored a second time, but the team was unable to cut into the Cardinals’ lead as they gave up three more goals in the half, making the final score 18-4.
Saint Mary’s looks to come back from Wednesday’s loss when it plays Adrian at St. Joseph High School Field at 5 p.m. in its first conference game of the season.