Belles Clinch Top-Two Finish with Win Over Flying Dutch
- Mary Singler scored four goals while adding two assists to help pace the offense.
- Clare Theisen tallied a goal while tying the school records for both ground balls (10) and caused turnovers (7).
- Cara Givens made 11 saves in goal as the Belles set new program highs for wins in a season (9) and conference wins in a season (6).
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team continued to rewrite their young history book while claiming a 13-11 win over Hope on Thursday evening. The victory sets new program highs for wins in a season (9) and conference wins in a season (6) as the Belles still have the opportunity to improve upon both of those marks.
The Belles came out on a mission and were quick to establish a 3-0 lead against the Flying Dutch. Kate Kelly won the draw, and Kendra Osinski sliced through the defense and sent home a goal on the first shot of the contest for a 1-0 advantage less than a minute into play. After high pressure on a re-defend situation, the Belles regained the ball on a failed clear attempt. Osinski made it 2-for-2 on her shots in the game to double the advantage to 2-0 with just 2:08 elapsed off of the clock. Two minutes later, Kate Kelly provided the offensive punch with an unassisted goal of her own for the 3-0 Saint Mary's lead as Hope called a timeout to try to slow the momentum.
The Flying Dutch got on the scoreboard three minutes later, but the Belles quickly regained the three-goal edge. Clare Theisen pulled down the draw control. Ten seconds later, Mary Singler threaded a difficult pass to Molly Stout, and Stout sent home the shot for the 4-1 Belles lead. Hope made it a 4-3 game with a pair of goals over the next six minutes of action. The score stood at 4-3 until the visiting Flying Dutch drew even with a free position goal with 8:26 remaining before halftime.
Cara Givens came up with a save three minutes later to keep the game tied. Mary Singler had a free position shot bounce off the post with under five minutes remaining in the period. The Belles kept the defense tight against Hope, and the offense made the most of a turnover by the Flying Dutch on a clear attempt with three minutes left on the clock. An errant pass out of bounds gave the ball back to Saint Mary's, and Kate Kelly picked up an assist on Mary Singler's first goal of the game. Clare Theisen then had a big stretch for the offense. The junior won the draw control and was fouled twice in the critical scoring area before sending home a free position shot with 2:14 left before the break for the 6-4 Saint Mary's lead.
Hope used an extra-player opportunity late in the half to cut the deficit to 6-5, and Mary Singler had a late shot saved to carry that same score into the halftime break.
The Flying Dutch quickly scored in the second half and went on to take an 8-6 lead after rattling two additional goals off through the opening 5:32 of the period. The Belles responded with five consecutive goals to shift the tide and take an 11-8 lead. Kate Kelly got back on the scoreboard with 23:15 to play to make it 8-7, and Molly Stout had a close-range shot find the back of the net just under the 20-minute mark to knot the game at 8-8. The Flying Dutch saw two shots rattle off the crossbar before Mary Singler put Saint Mary's up for good with an unassisted strike with 14:36 remaining. Kate Kelly doubled the lead a minute later on a well-placed free position goal for the 10-8 Saint Mary's advantage as Hope used a timeout.
Three minutes later, Clare Theisen's caused turnover and ground ball led to Mary Singler netting her third goal of the contest as the Belles pushed the lead to 11-8 with 10:01 to play. Both goalies made saves - a point-blank stop by Givens and a nice goal-line stop by Hope's netminder - as the clock wound down below the eight-minute mark.
Hope got a goal back with a good passing combination inside the critical scoring area to make it 11-9 with 6:46 on the clock, but the Belles responded right back with a goal of their own. Theisen had a clean check to knock the ball loose just after the draw control. Singler then picked up the ground ball, sprinted up toward goal, and delivered a shot into the back of the net just 16 seconds after Hope's goal for the 12-9 Saint Mary's lead. Two minutes later, Singler drew a free position opportunity. The freshman threaded a perfect pass to Molly Stout on the opposite side of the critical scoring area, and Stout's shot from just outside the goal circle was true as the Belles extended their advantage to 13-9 with 4:30 to play.
The Flying Dutch drew a free position shot of their own just a few seconds later, but Cara Givens came up with a strong save to maintain the lead. Hope did extend the possession with the ground ball pickup, and the visitors cut into the Belles' lead with another scoring combination play inside the critical scoring area with 3:08 on the clock. Hope added a goal with 47 seconds to go, but the Belles effectively ran out the final seconds of play as the defense held the Flying Dutch without a shot to close out the 13-11 win.
The Belles are guaranteed to host one of two MIAA Tournament Semifinal contests next Wednesday, May 3. It is the first time in program history the Belles have earned a berth in the top-four only MIAA Tournament.
Mary Singler scored four goals while adding two assists to help pace the offense. Kate Kelly added three goals and an assist. Molly Stout posted a hat trick with three goals, and Kendra Osinski netted two goals. Clare Theisen tallied a goal while tying the school records for both ground balls (10) and caused turnovers (7). The junior becomes the first player in program history with 100 career caused turnovers. Cara Givens made 11 saves in goal.
The Belles (9-6, 6-1 MIAA) close out the regular season on Saturday, April 29 when they travel to Adrian for a 1:00 p.m. contest against the Bulldogs.