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SMC Lacrosse

Belles lacrosse comes just short of repeat MIAA titles

| Friday, May 19, 2023

Another year, another winning season for Coach Amy Long and Saint Mary’s lacrosse. Since taking over the program during its inception in 2014, Long’s teams have displayed constant improvement and a high regard for winning. After a few years of growing pains, the Belles have experienced much success, epitomized by the last seven seasons in which the Belles are a combined 73-41 (.640), never finishing below .500 and fresh off a 2022 MIAA title.

When asked how her teams consistently step up to the challenges before them, Coach Long explained that a key is figuring out “what we want to be,” not just in terms of on the lacrosse pitch, but in going about the day-to-day.

“Our team leadership has carried that [winning culture] out from year to year to year … As players come and go, the leaders have learned from past leaders,” Long said.

Nowhere has this leadership been more evident than through graduate student defender Lindsey Herdsman and senior midfielders Erin Dotson and Molly Mullett. The trio has been instrumental in the Belles’ success. Dotson, a three-time All-MIAA selection, has remained an offensive weapon, leading the Belles with 60 goals. Similarly, Mullett, named to this year’s First Team All-MIAA Team, has demonstrated her ability to score as well, tallying 56 goals and a team-best 69 points. Meanwhile, Herdsman has served as an anchor for the Belles’ defense. She has steadied the Belles’ back line and keep opponents from scoring. However, their off-field presence has not gone unnoticed by Long.

“They’ve just been great leaders … chasing our goals and being excited about our goals in January,” said Long.

That leadership has been particularly important this season. The team endured a slow start to the season, including a 1-3 stretch to drop the Belles to 3-3. Despite the less-than-ideal beginning, Long remained optimistic. Sometimes, simply time can be the best medicine. That proved to be the case for the Belles. As the season went on, the Belles picked up steam.

“[We began] understanding what to expect from their teammates and. using that information to set each other up for success,” Long said.

Indeed, Saint Mary’s discovered plenty of late-season promise, including a five-game win streak. That propelled the Belles to an overall record of 11-6 (5-2 in conference). That landed them the third seed at this year’s MIAA tournament. However, their repeat hopes fell just short. The Belles defeated Alma in the semifinal before falling 18-13 to Hope, just missing out on consecutive titles.

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