Belles Stopped by Scots
ALMA, Mich. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team struck first, but host Alma rattled off a big scoring run before taking a 19-3 final on Tuesday night.
For the second consecutive game, the Belles were the first ones to score. Maria Roberts had a free position shot turned away as Saint Mary's threatened early. A minute and a half later, Emilie Vanneste sent home the first goal of the game with 26:28 to go to give the Belles the early advantage.
Some back-and-forth play by both teams saw the score stay 1-0 in favor of the Belles for the next few minutes of action. Shannon Weyer made a save to keep the Belles ahead. A minute later, however, the Scots struck with a free position goal to knot the game at 1-1 with 22:52 left in the first period.
That goal started an 11-0 run for Alma over the next 20 minutes of play. Despite the score, the several Belles had good looks at goal as Saint Mary's looked to break up the Scots' scoring spurt. Clare Theisen, Mary Grace Heller, Caleigh Gainey, and Emilie Vanneste all registered shots with several efforts being saved or just off the mark.
Theisen did turn defense into nearly instant offense to break the Scots' scoring streak. In the closing minutes of play, the freshman caused a turnover, picked up the ground ball, and tallied a goal within a span of 16 seconds to make it an 11-2 game with 2:28 left in the opening period.
Alma, however, rattled off three more goals during the final 1:46 of the half to take a 14-2 lead at the half.
With renewed resolve after the halftime break, the Belles continued to battle. Maria Roberts and Clare Theisen each had shots saved in the opening six minutes of play in the second period.
It would be the Scots who would add to their goal total first in the half as Alma tallied the first five goals of the period. After the last of those goals, the Belles won the draw and took advantage of the opportunity. Theisen and Vanneste each sent shots off the mark before Theisen tallied her second goal of the game with 9:52 remaining.
The freshman was knocking on the door of a hat trick a few short minutes later but had a free position shot blocked and sent another shot wide. Shannon Weyer came up with three saves in the final four minutes of play, but the Belles were unable to make a larger dent in the deficit as Saint Mary's fell by the 19-3 final.
Clare Theisen led the Belles with a pair of goals. Emilie Vanneste added a goal of her own to match the program's single-season high for goals in a season with 39. Shannon Weyer made five saves on the night.
The Belles return home to host Kalamazoo on Thursday, April 23 for a conference game starting at 5:00 p.m.