Lacrosse Season Recap 2015
The Saint Mary’s lacrosse program grew by leaps and bounds in its second year as a varsity program, but even more growth and higher expectations will be in sight for the Belles moving forward. The team increased or improved in nearly every statistical category from 2014 to 2015 while more than tripling their win total.
The team broke through for their first win of the season in their final game of their spring break trip with a 16-6 victory at Linfield in early March. A week later, the Belles posted their second consecutive win with a decisive 14-5 final over Defiance in their home opener.
As the month of March came to a close, the Belles earned their third and fourth wins of the year with an all-around solid effort at both ends of the field in a 14-2 win at Illinois Tech and a high-scoring 17-4 victory at home against Loras. The 14-2 score at Illinois Tech marked the fewest goals allowed in a single game for the young program while the 17-goal outburst against Loras was the highest goal total for the Belles in a single game in two years.
After the calendar flipped to April, the team earned their second MIAA win in the history of the program with a 13-9 decision against two-time defending conference champion Adrian. Against the Bulldogs, the Belles battled back from a 3-0 deficit and scored six of the final seven goals for the four-goal win.
The team bounced back from a narrow loss at home against Olivet with an 8-6 nail-biter of a win at Trine for their second MIAA victory of 2015. In the final game of the year, the Belles posted their program-best seventh win of the season with an 8-6 final at home against Dallas to cap off a strong second year.
The Belles scored more goals, registered more assists, picked up more ground balls, won more draw controls, caused more turnovers, and gave up fewer goals per game than they did a season before.
Leading the offense in 2015 were Emilie Vanneste and Clare Theisen. Vanneste set a single-season record for the program with 46 goals and shared the team lead with nine assists. Theisen was second on the team with 34 goals, shared team-high honors with two game-winning goals, and led the team in ground balls (56) and draw controls (44). She was in the top 100 Division III players at the conclusion of the season in ground balls for the year as she ranked 78th among all DIII women’s lacrosse players.
The defense was solid in 2015. Shannon Weyer played every minute in goal and earned a program-best seven goalkeeper wins in her first season minding the net. Katlynn Dee paced the Belles with 31 caused turnovers while adding 55 ground balls while being ranked in the top 100 Division III players in both categories. As a team, the Belles were 17th among all Division III women’s lacrosse programs in ground balls per game and 34th in caused turnovers.
When the all-conference selections were announced at the conclusion of the MIAA Tournament, the Belles were recognized for their efforts as Vanneste and Dee were both All-MIAA Second Team honorees in 2015. The pair become the first players in the history of the program to be named All-MIAA.