Belles Triumph Over Polar Bears
- For the second game in-a-row, Mary Singler netted a program-best seven goals in the contest.
- Molly Stout registered a hat trick with three goals.
- Kate Kelly tallied four points with two goals and two assists with a team-high seven ground balls.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In their first-ever game on the Purcell Athletic Fields, the Saint Mary's lacrosse team christened their home digs with a 16-10 victory over Ohio Northern.
The Belles put the pressure on the Polar Bears early, which led to Saint Mary's taking the lead first and never falling behind in the contest. Kate Kelly connected with Clare Theisen, and Theisen netted the first goal of the game less than five minutes into play. Ohio Northern tied the game five minutes later, but Saint Mary's quickly struck on a player-up opportunity after a contact to the head yellow card. Kendra Osinski fed a pass to the post to Kate Kelly, and Kelly scored from point-blank range to make it 2-1 with 19:48 still to play in the opening half.
Cara Givens came up with a pair of saves on free position shots by the Polar Bears, Mary Singler converted a free position attempt of her own to get on the scoreboard with 16:35 on the clock. Singler then won the next draw control, and Molly Stout made it 4-1 in favor of the Belles just 14 seconds later. Ohio Northern made it a two-goal game almost five minutes later. Saint Mary's stopped any thoughts of scoring run as Kelly picked up an errant pass and made the miscue count as the sophomore tallied her second goal of the game with 9:33 left in the period.
The Polar Bears got a goal back with a free position score two minutes later, but Givens came up with another big save on a free position shot just under the six-minute mark to keep the two-goal advantage for the Belles. Caleigh Gainey drew a charging call on the defensive end, and Saint Mary's made the most of the opportunity. Lauren Telford threaded a pass into the critical scoring area to Clare Theisen, and Theisen found the back to the net for her second goal of the game with 4:29 on the clock as the Belles led 6-3.
A minute and a half later, a caused turnover at one end again led to a Saint Mary's goal at the other end. Theisen broke up the offensive possession for Ohio Northern, and Kate Kelly collected the ground ball before pushing up the field. Molly Stout then gained possession along the left side of the critical scoring area and sent home a tough-angle shot to make it a 7-3 score in favor of the Belles. The Polar Bears got a goal back on their next possession to move the score to 7-4 with less than three minutes left in the half. Ohio Northern had the last look at goal in the half, but Cara Givens again came up with the big stop in the final ten seconds of play as Saint Mary's held the 7-4 lead at halftime.
Singler added to her goal total off of a pass from Kate Kelly to open the second half of play. Ohio Northern put together a pair of quick consecutive goals within a minute of one another to make it an 8-6 game with 28:07 on the clock, but Singler again came up with the big response after winning the draw and slicing through the defense before collecting the hat trick with her third goal of the contest.
A free position goal by Ohio Northern at 23:59 pushed the score to 9-7. Kelly had a pair of shots on goal pushed aside before Singler capitalized on a free position attempt to make it 10-7 in favor of the Belles. Almost four minutes later, Saint Mary's strengthened their grip on the momentum when Molly Stout picked up her third goal of the game for the 11-7 lead. Hanna Makowski sent in a shot from close range 30 seconds later for a 12-7 lead for the Belles. Makowski struck again four minutes later with a tough-angle shot of her own to push the Saint Mary's lead to 13-7 with 13:29 to go. The Belles' defense continued to stay strong at the other end of of the field to limit the chances the Polar Bears were trying to put together. A strong stretch of defense led to another goal by Singler with 9:19 remaining, and Saint Mary's held control of the game with a 14-7 lead.
Ohio Northern broke up the scoring run by the Belles with a goal. Again, it was Singler who found the back of the net with a free position shot to keep a 15-8 lead for Saint Mary's. The Polar Bears responded with two quick goals to make it a 15-10 game with five minutes remaining on the clock. The defense again stepped up for the home side as Rachael Leonard caused a turnover to help start a stretch of a minute of possession for Saint Mary's. A pair of turnovers by the Polar Bears over the next two minutes of play all but erased any thoughts of a late comeback by the visiting team. Ohio Northern got a late look at goal only to have Cara Givens come up with her ninth save of the contest. The Belles then flipped ends of the field, and Singler netted her seventh goal of the game to clinch the win for Saint Mary's.
The Belles held an 18-10 advantage in draw controls in the game while committing fewer turnovers (23) than the Polar Bears (30). Saint Mary's registered a program-record 45 shots in the game while matching the third-highest number of ground balls in a single contest.
For the second game in-a-row, Mary Singler netted a program-best seven goals in the contest. She led the team with nine draw controls while connecting on three of five free position shots taken in the game. Molly Stout registered a hat trick with three goals, and Kate Kelly tallied four points with two goals and two assists. Kelly added a team-high seven ground balls. Hanna Makowski and Clare Theisen each scored a pair of goals. Lauren Telford and Kendra Osinski each collected two assists. Rachael Leonard tallied four caused turnovers. Cara Givens collected nine saves in goal.
Clare Theisen surpassed the 100-point plateau, becoming just the second member of the program to do so. Additionally, she becomes the first player for the Belles to amass 100 points, 100 ground balls, and 100 draw controls in a career. Kate Kelly eclipsed the 100 ground ball plateau in just her 22nd game for the Belles.
The Belles (2-3) travel to Elmhurst on Tuesday, March 28 for a 6:00 p.m. CDT contest against the Blue Jays.