Belles blank Olivet on road in conference contest
Alex Bender | Tuesday, April 12, 2016
On Saturday afternoon on the road, the Belles were able to pick up a win in shutout fashion with a 20-0 victory over Olivet. This marked the Belles’ (5-5, 2-0 MIAA) second consecutive win, both coming as conference play has just begun. The team has moved to an even .500 record on the season with six games remaining before the conference tournament begins in early May. Belles head coach Amy Long has taken note of her team’s recent success and is pleased with how it played against Olivet (0-5, 0-2).
“We had a large focus on limiting the number of turnovers we gave up and I feel that translated to our large amount of success in the game,” Long said. “We limited the number of turnovers we allowed to just 12 in the game which was down from over 40 in the Adrian game.
“This strong start in conference play has been huge for our confidence,” she said. “We are really getting into a rhythm and know we can and will accomplish our goal of qualifying for the MIAA tournament.”
On Saturday against the Tigers, St. Mary’s broke four single-game school records, including most goals (20), assists (10), points (30) and fewest shots allowed (3), and it picked up the program’s first ever shutout. Throughout the entirety of the game, nine different players scored at least one goal, led by junior attack Emilie Vanneste’s five goals.
In the coming week, St. Mary’s will be playing in two more contests, one each against Trine and Albion. Trine has lost their first two games to start conference play and still remains winless on the season. Albion, however, is on a 2-0 to start conference play, with the Britons showcasing a 3-6 record on the season.
“We are excited as we head into our games this week,” Long said. “We expect the competition to be more challenging this week and understand we have to continue to put forth the extra effort in our practices to play to our potential in this week’s games. We are excited to continue to show the conference what we are capable of.”
If the Belles are to extend their winning streak, they will need junior goaltender Shannon Weyer to keep up her strong play in net.
“Shannon Weyer had an outstanding week last week,” Long said. “She finished the week with a save percentage of 59.1 percent and played solid defense for our team by causing one turnover and collecting five ground balls in our Adrian game.”
The Belles begin play this week Tuesday as they host Trine at 5 p.m. at the Holy Cross College South Field.