Furious Comeback Propels Belles Past Scarlet Hawks
- Mary Singler netted a program-record seven goals in the game - including four in the final three minutes of regulation.
- Kate Kelly posted a hat trick with three goals and collected two assists while leading the team with eight ground balls.
- Cara Givens had a career-high 12 saves in goal.
CHICAGO, Ill. - Trailing 16-12 with 7:32 remaining in the second half, the Saint Mary's lacrosse team put together the biggest comeback of their young program's history in an epic 17-16 overtime victory over Illinois Tech on Tuesday night.
The Belles jumped on the scoreboard in the opening minute of play after Kate Kelly connected with Molly Stout for a goal less than 15 seconds into play. An extended possession after a Saint Mary's free position shot a minute and a half later led to Clare Theisen finding Mary Singler with a pass for Singler's first goal of the contest. A short while later, the Belles translated a turnover by the Scarlet Hawks in the Illinois Tech end of the field into a goal on the other side after Abby Krauss connected with Kendra Osinski for the 3-0 Saint Mary's lead.
Illinois Tech came right back with a goal, but the Belles had a near-immediate response. Emilie Vanneste won the next draw control, and the senior sent home a shot off of a pass from Singler to put Saint Mary's ahead 4-1 with more than 20 minutes still remaining on the clock.
The Scarlet Hawks made it 4-2 with 17:16 on the clock. Singler found the back of the net with her second goal of the game, and Molly Stout scored an unassisted effort after Kate Kelly pulled down the next draw control to make it 6-2 in favor of the Belles.
Four goals by Illinois Tech over the next seven minutes of play knotted the score at 6-6, but Kate Kelly put Saint Mary's back ahead quickly with a goal off of Mary Singler's draw control. The Scarlet Hawks continued to build momentum and posted two goals within a minute of one another to go ahead 8-7. Illinois Tech carried over that momentum into the second half and opened the period on a 5-0 scoring run to mount a 13-7 lead with 24:15 on the clock.
The Belles stayed the course and continued to battle. Clare Theisen ended the scoring drought with an unassisted goal, and Hanna Makwoski added a response goal of her own with an unassisted effort two and a half minutes later to make it a 14-8 game. Illinois Tech pushed their advantage to 15-9 a minute later. The Scarlet Hawks burned more than a minute off of the clock, but Singler came up with a caused turnover and ground ball to give possession back to Saint Mary's.
Saint Mary's was far from finished in the contest. The offense got back on the board with a free position goal by Singler, and Kendra Osinski and Kate Kelly each added a goal to begin to push the momentum toward the Belles as the score stood at 15-12 with 9:03 on the lock. The Scarlet Hawks netted a goal on their next possession to push the score to 16-12 with 7:32 remaining in regulation.
After shots by Vanneste (hit post) and Singler (saved) missed the mark, Illinois Tech got the ball back yet again with the aim to kill more time. Vanneste then had the big play with a caused turnover and ground ball, and Kate Kelly connected with Singler for a goal with 2:42 left in the second half. With renewed energy, the Belles won each of the next three draw controls and almost immediately scored in what turned into a furious late-game comeback to tie things up. Theisen won a pair of those draws, and Vanneste pulled down the other draw control. Each time, Mary Singler found herself with the ball inside the eight and scored on each of the three shots she took during the final 2:15 of the period. The last of those goals came with just 34 seconds on the clock as the Belles tied the game and forced an overtime, sudden-victory period.
The player of the game for the Belles in the overtime period was goalie Cara Givens. After the Belles' first two shots from set offensive possessions were saved, Givens came up with two saves off of shots inside the eight-meter area in the span of 32 seconds to keep Saint Mary's alive. The Scarlet Hawks maintained possession after the second of those two shots and earned a free position attempt. Givens again came up with the big save, and the Belles successfully cleared the ball up the field. Kate Kelly had a look at the game winner just before the teams switched ends of the field at the three-minute mark of overtime, but the sophomore had her shot stopped off of the goal line.
Singler won the draw control after the teams switched ends, but a turnover gave the ball back to Illinois Tech deep in their defensive end. The pressure of the Belles' defense led to the Scarlet Hawks turning the ball back over to Saint Mary's just a few seconds later. Kate Kelly then found space along the left side of the critical scoring area, and the sophomore sent home the game-winner to lift the Belles to the 17-16 win.
Cara Givens made three big saves in overtime on her way to a career-high 12 saves in goal.
Mary Singler netted a program-record seven goals in the game - including four in the final three minutes of regulation - and added an assist to pick up a program-record of eight total points in the contest. Kate Kelly posted a hat trick with three goals and collected two assists while leading the team with eight ground balls. Molly Stout and Kendra Osinski each tallied two goals, and Hanna Makowski and Clare Theisen had a goal and an assist each. Emilie Vanneste notched a goal, and Abby Krauss registered an assist.
The Belles (1-3) host Ohio Northern at home on Saturday, March 25 beginning at 1:00 p.m.