Belles Prevail Against Hornets on Senior Day
- The Belles won their fifth MIAA contest of the year with four unanswered goals in the second half against Kalamazoo.
- Clare Theisen became the second player in program history to score 100 career goals as the junior netted a pair, including the eventual game-winner.
- Kate Kelly had four goals and two assists while posting five draw controls and five ground balls.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's lacrosse team put the final four goals on the scoreboard to take a 10-8 win over Kalamazoo on Senior Recognition Night.
Kalamazoo jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the first 6:15 of play, but the Belles were just getting settled into the contest. The Saint Mary's defense came up with a big blocked shot on a free position opportunity by the Hornets, and a turnover just a few seconds later started the shift from defense to offense. An extended possession by the Belles led to the first goal of the day for the home side as Lauren Telford connected with Kate Kelly for the goal to make it 3-1.
The Hornets got a goal back, but Saint Mary's responded quickly to keep within striking distance. Kate Kelly won the draw and raced right through the defense before sending home her second goal of the game to make it 4-2. The sophomore pulled down the next draw control to gain possession for the Belles again. Mary Singler drew a shooting space call, and the freshman sent home a rocket of a shot to make it 4-3 with 12:30 still remaining before the half. A turnover by Kalamazoo followed by a good clear put the Belles on the transition. Kelly earned an assist on a goal by Clare Theisen to draw Saint Mary's even at 4-4 with 11:17 left on the clock.
Two goals for Kalamazoo gave the Hornets a 6-4 lead with under ten minutes to play in the period. The Belles responded right back with a long possession which led to a free position goal by Molly Stout to make it 6-5. Theisen won the next draw control, and the Belles capitalized on the offensive opportunity with a goal by Kelly to knot the score at 6-6. Both teams had chances over the final seven minutes of the half, but both goalies made saves on the shots on goal as the game stood at 6-6 at the midway break.
The Hornets opened the second half of play with two goals through the first five minutes of resumed action, but the Belles were undeterred in their efforts on either end of the field. Kendra Osinski made the most of a leading pass by Kelly and sent home a goal to make it 8-7. The Belles' re-defending led to a failed clear attempt just a few minutes later, and Kate Kelly tied the game yet again at 8-8 with 21:28 to play.
The Belles successfully killed off a yellow card, and the defense forced the Hornets into back-to-back failed clear attempts. The second of those failed clear attempts was on a second yellow card whistled against the home side. Saint Mary's successfully killed off the second yellow card, and Clare Theisen sliced through the defense before registering her 100th career goal while putting the Belles on top 9-8 with 13:00 to play.
Another failed clear for Kalamazoo deep in their defensive end led to a ground ball pick up for Kendra Osinski. The freshman passed the ball to Molly Stout, who made a move and found enough space to sneak a shot past the Hornets' goalie for the 10-8 Saint Mary's lead with 6:17 remaining.
The defense stood tall for the Belles down the stretch as Kalamazoo took just one shot over the final six minutes of play, and that shot was not on goal as the defense blocked it just out of the stick of the Kalamazoo attacker.
The win gives the Belles their fifth MIAA win of the year, marking a new program high for conference wins in a season. Saint Mary's has two more conference games remaining and can improve not only that win total, but also their standings in league play with a chance to host a first round conference tournament game on the line.
The Belles out-shot the Hornets 25-14 and had seven fewer turnovers (22) than Kalamazoo (29).
Clare Theisen became the second player in program history to score 100 career goals as the junior netted a pair, including the eventual game-winner. Kate Kelly had four goals and two assists while posting five draw controls and five ground balls. Molly Stout added two goals, and Mary Singler and Kendra Osinski each chipped in a goal. Lauren Telford registered an assist. Rachael Leonard tallied five ground balls and three caused turnovers to help pace the defense.
The Belles (8-6, 5-1 MIAA) host Hope on Thursday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. It will serve as the program's annual Lax for Liberty contest as the team will raise awareness, funds, and supplies for the Robert L. Miller Veteran's Center in South Bend.