Belles Tripped Up by Brits
ALBION, Mich. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team lost a 20-5 conference game at Albion on Saturday afternoon.
The Belles broke through first in the contest. Clare Theisen put a shot on goal on the Belles' first possession of the game only to have the effort turned aside. But Saint Mary's kept the pressure up and forced the Brits into a few early turnovers. After the third of those turnovers, the Belles successfully cleared the ball and lit up the scoreboard on a goal by Mary Grace Heller less than five minutes into the game.
The Brits, however, drew even on their next possession and started a big scoring run to take a commanding lead. After that first goal, Albion scored the next nine goals of the game to pull ahead 10-1 with 8:58 remaining in the first half.
During that run, the Belles had a handful of good scoring chances that just came up short in translating to goals. Heller put a pair of shots on goal while Emilie Vanneste had an effort turned aside after seeing another attempt go high of the goal frame.
As the clock moved closer to the eight-minute mark in the first half, Shannon Weyer had three saves in the span of 1:13 as the Belles continued to battle against Albion. Some strong defense turned itself into offense for Saint Mary's as Mary Grace Heller netted her second goal of the game to break up the Brits' scoring spurt to make it a 10-2 game with 3:29 left in the half.
Albion, however, added two goals late in the period to take a 12-2 lead. The Belles nearly turned defense into immediate offense in the closing seconds of the half as Katlynn Dee had a shot after a good clear turned away with 21 seconds left on the clock.
After the Brits started the second half with a goal, the Belles got one back to make it a 13-3 game. Maria Roberts corralled a loose ball and sent home a goal with 25:36 left in the second half. Albion's offense, however, continued to put the pressure on the Saint Mary's defense while extending their lead to 16-3 through the first 11 minutes of the second half.
Never ones to give up, the Belles continued to play hard while working to edge their way back into the game. Emilie Vanneste tallied a goal with 14:39 to go to make it a 16-4 game, and the Belles kept knocking on the doorstep for the next five minutes of play. After another save by Weyer, Theisen and Caleigh Gainey each put a shot on goal before the offense broke through. Maria Roberts connected with Clare Theisen for her first goal of the game with 9:38 to make it a 16-5 contest.
The deficit was too much to overcome down the stretch while the Brits added four more goals in the final eight minutes of play for the 20-5 final.
Mary Grace Heller led the Belles with a pair of goals while picking up six ground balls and forcing three turnovers. Maria Roberts had a goal and an assist. Clare Theisen added a goal and four ground balls, and Emilie Vanneste scored a goal for the Belles. Shannon Weyer made nine saves in goal on the afternoon.
The Belles (6-8, 2-4 MIAA) travel to Alma on Tuesday, April 21 for a 5:00 p.m. conference game against the Scots.