Belles Fall Short in Hard-Fought Battle Against Knights
- Cara Givens tallied 11 saves in goal, marking the third time this season the sophomore has posted double-digit saves for the Belles.
- Mary Singler and Kendra Osinski each registered two goals and an assist to help lead the offense.
- The Belles' defense was led by Caleigh Gainey's four ground balls and Rachael Leonard's three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team was stopped 11-9 in a conference tilt against Calvin on Tuesday evening.
Cara Givens came up with a pair of saves on the first two shots on goal by Calvin, and Mary Singler made the most of the Belles' first shot of the contest by sending home the first goal of the game more than six minutes into the first half. A minute later, the Knights equalized with a goal from well inside the critical scoring area to make it 1-1 with 22:26 on the clock. Calvin put a quick second goal on the scoreboard and extended the lead to 3-1 with 20:01 remaining in the opening period as the Belles called a timeout.
After an extended possession a short while later, Kate Kelly found the back of the net to cut the deficit in half. A strong stop on defense and a caused turnover by Liana O'Grady on the Knights' next possession led to a good clear and a goal by Molly Stout to knot the game at 3-3 with 16:13 still left on the clock. Five minutes later, Rachael Leonard caused a turnover and picked up the ground ball to start the Belles' transition. Clare Theisen found Kendra Osinski inside the eight-meter area, and Osinski put away the goal to give the Belles a 4-3 lead.
The Knights used more than two minutes of time on their next possession to work the zone and eventually score with 7:14 remaining to tie the score yet again at 4-4. A turnover deep in the Belles' defensive end proved costly with less than four minutes remaining before the half as Calvin capitalized on the miscue and took a 5-4 lead. That advantage was short-lived, however, as Kate Kelly managed to fight past a defender just outside the goal circle on a free position attempt before putting away her second goal of the game with 1:36 left on the clock.
A loose save in front of the goal circle late in the half was picked up by the Knights as Calvin regained a one-goal lead at 6-5 with 12 seconds left on the clock. A turnover by the visitors in the middle of the field with seven seconds remaining gave the Belles one last short look at netting an equalizer before the break. After getting a quick pass from Clare Theisen, Mary Singler sprinted up field as the closing seconds ticked away. Singler threaded a perfect pass to Kendra Osinski, who had just enough time to catch, turn, shoot, and score before the final seconds elapsed as the game stood at 6-6 at the half.
Calvin used over eight minutes to score a pair of goals to open the second half to claim an 8-6 lead. The Belles caused a pair of turnovers, but Saint Mary's was unable to take advantage of those chances. A good clear for the Knights then led to a goal as Calvin extended their lead to 9-6 with 11:29 to play.
The Belles were hardly finished in the game. Givens made another big save, and the Saint Mary's defense continued to stand tall to keep the Knights off the scoreboard. With a free position attempt along the left side of the field, Kendra Osinski played a pass down to the post, and Molly Stout pushed a shot into the back of the net to make it 9-7 with just under eight minutes left on the clock. Another save by Givens, a blocked shot by the defense, and a battle won by the Belles in the midfield led to Mary Singler netting her second goal of the game as Saint Mary's pulled within a goal at 9-8 with 5:40 on the clock.
Calvin won the next draw and quickly scored a free position goal to regain a two-goal lead. A turnover by Saint Mary's a short while later saw the Knights pull ahead 11-8 with 3:22 to go in the second half. The resilience of the Belles was unshaken down the stretch as Saint Mary's continued to fight. Givens made yet another big save, and the Belles successfully pushed the ball into their offensive end with under two minutes remaining. Hanna Makowski kept the possession alive by collecting a ground ball off of her own stopped shot, and the junior assisted classmate Clare Theisen a few seconds later as the Belles made it 11-9 with 1:17 to play.
The Belles had one late look at goal - a shot by Mary Singler just before time expired - only to have the effort stopped as the Knights held on for the 11-9 decision.
Cara Givens tallied 11 saves in goal, marking the third time this season the sophomore has posted double-digit saves for the Belles. Mary Singler and Kendra Osinski each registered two goals and an assist to help lead the offense. Molly Stout and Kate Kelly had two goals each. Clare Theisen had a goal, an assist, four caused turnovers, and a game-high seven ground balls. Hanna Makowski added an assist. The Belles' defense was led by Caleigh Gainey's four ground balls and Rachael Leonard's three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
The Belles (5-6, 2-1 MIAA) travel to Alma on Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. MIAA contest against the Scots.