Belles Hold Off Thunder
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team staved off a second half comeback effort by Trine to claim an 8-6 victory over the Thunder on Saturday.
The Belles jumped out to the early lead after Clare Theisen scored twice in the opening nine minutes of play. After Aubrey Golembieski caused a turnover and picked up a ground ball on a Trine clear attempt, Mary Grace Heller sent a shot wide. The Belles kept the possession alive, and Hanna Makowski passed the ball in to Theisen for the goal four minutes into the game.
Four minutes later, Theisen had an initial shot saved but scored on the same possession by the Belles to make it 2-0 with 21:24 on the clock.
The Thunder got a goal back five minutes later, but the Belles quickly regained the momentum. Makowski had a shot on goal turned away, but Emilie Vanneste put Saint Mary's up 3-1 after the Belles maintained possession with 14:29 left before the half. Vanneste then won the draw, and Aubrey Golembieski pushed the lead to 4-1 just 24 seconds later.
Prolonged offensive possessions continued to be a big difference maker for the Belles in the first half. After Theisen had a shot go high, the Belles were the closest to the ball and kept possession. Theisen's second effort in the offensive end was good to put Saint Mary's up 5-1 with 11:34 on the clock.
The Thunder cut into the Belles' lead with a free position goal at the 6:32 mark, but Saint Mary's had an almost immediate response. Golembieski won the draw, and Theisen sent home her fourth goal of the half as the clock hit 6:00 to regain the four-goal lead for the Belles.
As the game moved closer and closer to halftime, the Belles were able to keep the pressure on the Thunder. A failed clear by Trine turned into a goal 23 seconds later after Emilie Vanneste scored with 1:28 left in the opening period to make it 7-2.
The Thunder made a quick dent in the Belles' lead in the second half with a pair of goals in the opening 4:23 of play to push the score to 7-4. Aubrey Golembieski had a shot bounce off the post less than a minute later, and Trine utilized a free position opportunity for another goal to make it a two-goal game with 21:57 on the clock.
Theisen, Colleen Conway, and Heller each had a shot on goal, but none of those efforts found the back of the net as the Thunder continued to keep close. Trine pulled within a goal midway through the half as the Belles battled to keep the scoring edge.
With just under 11 minutes left in the second half, Shannon Weyer came up with a big save to keep the Belles in front. Her defensive stop was quickly rewarded at the other end of the field as Vanneste doubled the Saint Mary's lead with 10:02 to go.
Both teams had chances to score over the final minutes, but the Belles were able to withstand a furious final minute of play. The Thunder got off two shots on goal in the final 30 seconds of play, but Weyer came up huge in goal with two saves. Katlynn Dee then forced a turnover with under 20 seconds left on the clock to ice the win for the Belles.
Clare Theisen led all players with four goals and had six caused turnovers. Emilie Vanneste chipped in three goals, and Aubrey Golembieski scored a goal, had five ground balls, and caused four turnovers. Hanna Makowski added an assist. Shannon Weyer made six saves in goal for Saint Mary's.
The Belles (6-6, 2-2 MIAA) host Calvin in a conference game on Wednesday, April 15 starting at 5:00 p.m.