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SMC Lacrosse

Belles use big third quarter to down Cougars

| Friday, March 18, 2022

After a tough three-game stretch, the Saint Mary’s lacrosse team had a week off to a reset. They dropped three games in five days to fall to 2-3 on the season. After a break, the Belles returned to action on Wednesday night. They were able to turn their fortunes around, as Saint Mary’s held off Concordia Chicago 11-8. Seven different players found the back of the net for the Belles, who pulled away by outscoring the Cougars 4-0 in the third quarter. Senior attacker/midfielder Gabby Belsito led the Belles with three goals. Captain and senior midfielder Bridget Kane scored twice and assisted on two other goals.

The Belles got off to a fast start, notching the game’s first four goals. The first three were unassisted. Sophomore attacker Julia Gorski forced a turnover in the offensive end and opened the scoring 5:24 into the first quarter. Kane added a second just over two minutes later, and Saint Mary’s offense began to flow. They went up 4-0 before Concordia notched a single tally in the final two minutes of the period.

However, the second period didn’t go quite according to plan for Saint Mary’s. After going up 5-2, the Belles surrendered three straight goals in a 110-second span. That allowed the Cougars to knot the scoreline at five goals apiece. But it was the last time the game would be tied, as Gorski gave the Belles the lead for good with 44 seconds to play in the half.

Belsito, Kane continue to boost Belles

The second half began with the Kane and Belsito show. Kane opened the half by rifling a shot home for a 7-5 lead. She then assisted on a pair of Belsito goals to allow Saint Mary’s to take full control of the contest. They led 10-5 at the end of the third quarter, as Belsito completed her single-quarter hat trick.

With a comfortable advantage, the Belles were content to play slow, possession-based lacrosse in the final frame. Concordia scored thirty seconds in, but then Saint Mary’s settled things down. They pushed their lead back out to five goals with 9:54 to play. Then the game entered a scoreless drought of nearly eight minutes. That was more than fine with Saint Mary’s, who closed out a relatively comfortable win. The Cougars notched two goals in 19 seconds in the final two minutes to make the final score read a little closer than the game felt.

Defense was the key cog for the Belles all evening. They succeeded on 17 of their 20 clearance opportunities, compared to 13 of 23 for the Cougars. They also doubled up Concordia in ground balls, 36-18, and forced 29 turnovers. When shots got through, senior goalie Alexis Fady did her part, recording five saves.

The Belles get another six days off before another non-conference battle. They’ll look to push their record back above .500 against Anderson next Tuesday at home. The game starts at 6 p.m.

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