Saint Mary’s lacrosse takes MIAA crown behind productive offense
Michael Pilger | Friday, May 13, 2022
The Saint Mary’s lacrosse team wrapped up their 2021-2022 season on a high note, coming away MIAA champions after a 19-15 win over Trine on May 7. The Belles finished the season with an impressive record of 11-6 overall and going 5-2 in conference play. Despite some struggles in early March, when they lost 3 matches in a row, the team turned the season around and won 6 of their last 8, outscoring their opponents by 31 points.
When asked about why the team was able to bounce back strongly after this rough start, captain Sarah Frick explained the importance of teamwork.
“We always had the talent, but began working more as a team rather than individuals,” she said.
Offensive production has been a major factor in the team’s success this season. The Belles averaged more goals, assists and shots on goal this season than in the past six years. Seniors Katie Haas and Bridget Kane and junior Erin Dotson have been the focal points of this powerful offense. However, what sets this team apart from past years is the offensive diversity of the whole team.
It’s difficult to defend one of the Belles tightly since they have so many players that can score. For example, in a dominant 20-2 win over Anderson on March 22, seven different players on the team scored, and nine players took at least one shot. This wide range of attackers helped Saint Mary’s attain an average of over 16 goals per game.
Frick mentioned that while the offense was powerful, it was helped by the versatility of defensive players. Frick noted, specifically, the importance of senior-freshman duo Lindsey Herdsman and Valentina Rubio.
“It is very common for low defenders to be on the slower side and have weaker stick skills… but this is not indicative of Herdsman and Rubio. They play such an integral role in not only defending but also moving the ball during transitions.” Frick said.
Finally, another reason for the team’s success this season has been their perseverance and endurance. This year’s emphasis on maintaining possession, then creating and maintaining offensive plays is one of the most important reasons for the Belles’ offensive success and relentlessness. This strategy was most prevalent in an away conference game at Hope College, where the team edged out a 24-23 win, their highest-scoring game of the season. Despite their opponents leading 23-21 with under seven minutes remaining the team finished strong and pulled out the win.
To close the season, the Belles attended the MIAA tournament. There they faced Hope in the first round and took out the Flying Dutch 16-13. In the final, the Belles met the Trine Thunder, who had taken them to overtime just two weeks before. The Belles won then, 14-13, and handled the Thunder much more swiftly this time around. The Belles hope to continue their success next season and build on their offensive capabilities.