Belles Rally to Take Down Brits
- Mary Singler tallied three goals and an assist, and Molly Stout added a hat trick on four shots.
- Kate Kelly had two goals and two assists.
- Cara Givens made six saves in goal for the Belles.
ALBION, Mich. - Trailing 5-1 midway through the first half, the Saint Mary's lacrosse team outscored Albion 10-5 over the final 42 minutes of action to take an 11-10 victory over the defending conference champion Britons on Friday.
Albion jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead through the first seven minutes of action, prompting a timeout by the Belles. After that break, the Belles used a defensive stop at one end to start the offense the other way. Lauren Telford caused a turnover before Rachael Leonard picked up the ground ball and passed the ball up the field to Mary Singler. Singler carried the ball past the restraining line, cut in toward goal, and made a pass to Molly Stout, and Stout sent home the Belles' first goal of the game at 20:34.
The Brits responded with a pair of goals over the next four minutes of action, but the Belles were just getting settled into the game. After Albion took the 5-1 lead, Saint Mary's stormed right back to gain momentum. Kate Kelly won the draw, raced up field, and netted a goal in the span of 10 seconds to re-energize the Belles. Strong re-defending by Saint Mary's during the next stretch of play led to a goal by Kendra Osinski with Kelly earning an assist to make it a 5-3 game with 11:31 on the clock.
Kelly then won the next draw and assisted on a goal by Clare Theisen a minute later. Mary Singler came away with the ensuing draw, and Molly Stout sent home her second goal of the game to knot the score at 5-5 with 10:24 still on the clock in the opening half. Another won draw by Singler led to a free position goal by Lauren Telford as the Belles put their third goal on the scoreboard in the span of 30 seconds to take their first lead of the contest while Albion opted to call a timeout to try to slow Saint Mary's down.
The Brits tied the score at 6-6 with a free position goal of their own at 8:12, but Mary Singler made that lead a short-lived one by winning the draw and scoring an unassisted effort just 16 seconds later. Another free position goal by Albion knotted the game at 7-7 with 7:07 still remaining before the break. Mary Singler and Kate Kelly each put a shot on goal as the Belles kept the ball in dangerous territory for an extended period of time. Clare Theisen picked up the ground ball off of Kelly's saved shot, and Kelly made the most of the extended possession by scoring her second goal of the game to give the Belles an 8-7 lead with more than three minutes left on the clock in the half. Cara Givens came up with two big saves in the final minute, including one with just seconds left on the clock, to give Saint Mary's the 8-7 edge heading into the break.
Both sides' defenses were strong throughout the second half of play as the two sides combined to score just six goals. Albion wasted little time tying the game to open the period as the Brits got on the scoreboard 13 seconds after the starting whistle. After stops by both teams, Albion took a 9-8 lead with 19:32 to play in regulation after keeping the possession alive.
Seven minutes of game time later, Cara Givens came up with another crucial save and started the Belles' clear effort. A combination of quick passes later, Molly Stout completed the hat trick with a goal at the 12:22 mark to tie the game at 9-9. Albion quickly regained the lead a minute later, but both sides knew the game would come down to the final stretch of play.
Lauren Telford and Mary Singler each caused a turnover on the defensive end during the next few minutes. Singler then sneaked a shot past the goalie to tie the game for the sixth time. A blocked shot on an Albion free position attempt followed by a caused turnover by Kate Kelly gave the Belles a chance to regain the lead. After the good clear, Theisen connected with Singler, and the freshman sent home what proved to be the game-winning goal with 5:46 still to play. Clare Theisen won the next draw, and the Belles were able to hold an extended possession while consuming more than a minute of the clock. Strong defense led to an Albion turnover, and another clear by the Belles helped Saint Mary's take more than two minutes off the clock as the game moved below the two-minute mark. Albion regained the ball with a minute to play and quickly switched ends of the field. The defense again stood tall for the Belles. Saint Mary's blocked a shot, and the defense broke up a pass in the closing seconds of play to secure the 11-10 win.
The comeback victory marks the first time the Belles have taken a win against Albion since the program began in the spring of 2014.
Mary Singler tallied three goals and an assist, and Molly Stout added a hat trick on four shots. Kate Kelly had two goals and two assists. Clare Theisen chipped in a goal, an assist, six ground balls, and three caused turnovers. Kendra Osinski and Lauren Telford each tallied a goal. Cara Givens made six saves in goal for the Belles.
The Belles (7-6, 4-1 MIAA) have a break in play until Saturday, April 22 when they host Kalamazoo at 6:00 p.m. The four seniors on the team - Lauren Telford, Katlynn Dee, Emilie Vanneste, and Shannon Weyer - will be recognized prior to the start of the contest.