Following a hard-fought 2-2 tie to Lake Forest last Saturday, the Belles Soccer team of Saint Mary’s took the field on Wednesday against the Anderson Ravens. The Belles were looking to notch their first win of the season against a Ravens team fresh off a 5-0 win vs. Asbury and a 2-2 tie to Huntington.
The first half began with the teams conservatively feeling each other out. Possession was evenly split amongst the sides, with no teams being able to convert their respective scoring chances. Sophomore forward Mary Kaczynski played a beautiful ball in the 10th minute that went unconverted by sophomore midfielder Grace Barresi. Kaczynski would go on to miss a key chance of her own just a minute later, with her one-time shot going just wide of the net. Senior forward Jillian Bowen and junior forward Katilyn Day provided vital roles, contributing to the flurry of first-half Belle chances.
The Belles continued to swing balls into the box with regularity, missing scoring chances by just inches. The first 45 minutes ended scoreless thanks to several key saves by sophomore goalkeeper Kara Stacey and stout backline work. Junior midfielder Lindsey Adent was crucial in preventing a Ravens goal as well.
The second half would begin to turn the tide of momentum back towards the Ravens, though. They tested Stacey in net and began to find holes in a valiant Belles defense. Saint Mary’s remained level for the first 30 minutes of the half.
They would finally break, however, in the 76th minute, with the Ravens exploiting an exhausted back line. Anderson would double their lead only three minutes later, riding their newfound adrenaline to overwhelm the Belles. Despite dangerous shots and brilliant flashes of play from Barresi and Kaczynski, the Belles were denied the back of the net.
The Belles finished with 11 shots, six on goal, compared to Anderson’s 16 total shots and seven on net. Anderson would also record more corner kicks. A 2-0 margin in the second half in that department showing how they were able to control possession as the game progressed. Kaczynski had a fantastic game for the Belles, recording four shots. Stacey made five beautiful saves in the net as well.
The Belles return to action this Sunday at Oberlin at 3 p.m. They hope to record a big win before conference play begins.