Belles Soar Past Yellow Jackets
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team was dominant in the first half against Defiance before closing out the 14-5 win at home against the Yellow Jackets.
The Belles opened up the game with two goals in the first 1:36 of play. Emilie Vanneste got the Belles on the scoreboard first before Mary Grace Heller scored an unassisted goal of her own for the quick 2-0 Saint Mary's lead. Heller and Vanneste each added another goal each midway through the half to double the Belles' lead as Saint Mary's clamped down defensively on the Yellow Jackets. Prior to the 4-0 advantage, Shannon Weyer came up with a solid save on an 8-meter shot while the defense collapsed and blocked another 8-meter shot by Defiance.
Hanna Makowski made it a 5-0 game with 10:41 to go before the half as the freshman buried a shot from close range after Maria Roberts fed her a pass inside the 8-meter fan. After the Yellow Jackets went down two players after a pair of yellow cards, Tess Guerrero registered her first goal of the season to put Saint Mary's ahead 6-0 with less than five minutes remaining in the first period.
In the closing two minutes of the half, the Belles scored twice more to push the advantage to eight goals. Vanneste found Makowski in a high-scoring area, and Makowski put away her second goal of the game. Makowski then won the ensuing draw control, and Vanneste gave the Belles their eighth goal of the half just 22 seconds after Makowski's score for the 8-0 lead.
Clare Theisen lit up the scoreboard with the Belles' first free position goal of the year just 12 seconds into the second half to make it 9-0 in favor of Saint Mary's. After Defiance tallied their first goal of the game on a free position shot, the Belles responded right back. Emilie Vanneste connected with Mary Grace Heller, and Heller put away her third goal of the game with 26:55 on the clock.
The teams traded goals again, but this time Maria Roberts picked up the assist on Caleigh Gainey's first collegiate goal to make it 11-2 Saint Mary's with just over 25 minutes to go in the game.
Two more back-to-back goals by the Belles ballooned the lead to 13-2. Heller and Vanneste connected yet again but with the roles reversed as Vanneste posted her fourth goal of the game after making a great cut to get open. Theisen tallied her second free position goal of the game with just under 21 minutes to go to keep the clock moving in the second half.
As the game moved into the final ten minutes, the Yellow Jackets posted two consecutive goals to cut the deficit to single digits, but Makowski slipped a free position goal in between the goalie and the post for the 14-4 Saint Mary's lead with just over a minute remaining in the game.
Defiance scored a late goal to make it a nine-goal game, but the Belles were more than strong enough to take the 14-5 win at home.
Balance was big for the Belles on Thursday night. Emilie Vanneste had her second consecutive multi-goal game to lead Saint Mary's with four goals and two assists. Hanna Makowski and Mary Grace Heller each posted their first collegiate hat tricks on the night with three goals apiece. Heller also added an assist on the night while leading the team with five ground balls.
Clare Theisen recorded her first multi-goal game of her collegiate career with a pair of goals. She also led the team with six draw controls on the night. Tess Guerrero tallied her first goal of the year, and Caleigh Gainey notched her first collegiate goal. Maria Roberts picked up a pair of assists in the win.
Shannon Weyer made five saves in goal while earning her second consecutive win in goal.
The Belles (2-2) travel to Elmhurst on Saturday, March 21 for a 3:00 p.m. CDT contest against the Blue Jays.