Offensive Outburst Carries Belles Past Duhawks
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team posted a new program-high for goals in a single game on their way to a 17-5 win over Loras at home on Monday evening.
Emilie Vanneste and Maria Roberts put the Belles on the scoreboard early as they each scored an unassisted goal in the opening four minutes of play.
The Duhawks cut the lead in half with a goal in the seventh minute of the game, but the Belles turned on the offense with a six-goal spurt to take control of the momentum of the contest. Sarah Neeser got the run going with a free position goal, and Abby Krauss made it a 4-1 lead for Saint Mary's with an unassisted goal of her own. Vanneste and Aubrey Golembieski each chipped in a goal a span of 21 seconds to put the Belles ahead 6-1.
The Belles were tough on defense and kept the Duhawks from getting into their offense by stopping back-to-back clear attempts midway through the half.
As the clock moved to the late stages of the opening period, both teams had opportunities to score. With less than nine minutes remaining before halftime, the Duhawks had their first 8-meter chance of the game. Shannon Weyer made the save on the free position shot and helped the Belles clear the zone quickly. Two minutes later, Aubrey Golembieski worked her way into the 8-meter area and fired a shot which ricocheted off the crossbar and away from goal.
The Belles were able to end the scoring drought when Hanna Makowski sent home her first goal of the game with 3:23 left in the first half.
The Duhawks cut the deficit to 7-2 with 34 seconds to go, but the Belles were not quite done in the half. Tess Guerrero won the ensuing draw control for Saint Mary's and played the ball ahead to Colleen Conway, who earned a free position attempt to stop the clock with 21. Rather than shooting, Conway passed the ball to Vanneste, and Vanneste worked the ball behind the crease and fired a shot into the goal just prior to the expiration of the clock to make it 8-2 at the half.
Saint Mary's struck quickly to open the second half. Roberts won the draw control, and it took less than a minute for Emilie Vanneste to send a pass to Caleight Gainey, who caught the pass, turned, and scored from close range to put the Belles up 9-2.
A Duhawks goal on their next possession kept Loras within reasonable striking distance, but the Belles put the pedal to the metal and rattled off four goals in just two minutes of game time to make it 13-3. Makowski, Clare Theisen, Golembieski, and Vanneste contributed the goals for Saint Mary's during the quick run, and Golembieski registered an assist on Makowski's goal.
Loras cut the Belles' lead to nine goals with a free position goal with just under 19 minutes left in the game, but Saint Mary's came right back with the next three goals to ensure the double-digit advantage in scoring. Clare Theisen won the follow-up draw control and sprinted straight to goal and scored to make it 14-4. Less than four minutes later, Tess Guerrero got a clean check on the goalkeeper, who was playing the ball outside of the crease, to force the turnover. The junior then scooped up the ground ball, ran straight to the front of the goal, and put home the goal.
Vanneste and Neeser each added a free position goal over the next five minutes to push the Belles' advantage to 17-4.
A turnover deep in the Saint Mary's defensive end resulted in the Duhawks' final goal of the game with 2:32 to go, but the Belles were able to close out the 17-5 win without Loras getting another look at goal in the game.
Emilie Vanneste led the Belles with five goals and an assist. Aubrey Golembieski had two goals and an assist, and Hanna Makowski, Sarah Neeser, and Clare Theisen each chipped in two goals. Neeser led the Belles with seven ground balls on the afternoon. Maria Roberts, Abby Krauss, Caleigh Gainey, and Tess Guerrero each added a goal in the biggest offensive output the Belles have had in a single game in the two-year history of the program.
Shannon Weyer earned her fourth win in goal for the Belles while making three saves.
Saint Mary's (4-4) opens conference play this Wednesday, April 1 when they host Hope starting at 5:00 p.m.