Belles Prevail Against Bluejays
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Both teams battled through rain, sleet, and snow, but the Saint Mary's lacrosse team came away with the 20-12 win against Elmhurst in the Belles' season opener at home on Tuesday evening.
The Belles jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back against the Bluejays. Clare Theisen put Saint Mary's on the scoreboard with a free position shot 32 seconds into play, and Kendra Osinski converted a pass from Erin Doyle for a goal two minutes later. Theisen added her second goal of the game on an unassisted effort with 26:57 still on the clock. Osinski sent home a free position shot of her own with just under five minutes gone from the game to lift the Belles to a 4-0 lead.
The two teams traded goals back-and-forth over the next 13-plus minutes of play with Erin Doyle and Theisen each netting a free position goal before Kate Kelly tallied a goal of her own to make it 7-3 with 10:40 to play in the opening half. Doyle lit up the scoreboard again to push the advantage to 8-3 with just over nine minutes left on the clock.
The Bluejays put back-to-back goals on the scoreboard, but the Belles closed out the half with a four-goal spurt to take a 12-5 lead. Osinski completed the hat trick in the opening period after finishing a pass from Hanna Makowski with 5:42 on the clock. Erin Doyle added two goals to join Osinski with the first-half hat trick, and Osinski netted her fourth goal of the contest 17 seconds after Doyle's fourth goal of the game for the seven-goal lead at the break.
Elmhurst struck quickly in the second stanza, but the Belles' offense was too much for the Bluejays. Erin Doyle rattled off three consecutive goals before Clare Theisen notched her third goal of the game to make it a 16-6 lead with 27:19 on the clock. Elmhurst stopped the running clock with a strong combination play inside the critical scoring area. Kendra Osinski pushed the lead back to 10 with a free position goal 37 seconds later. Raigan Althouse sent home her first collegiate goal with a free position goal just under the 20-minute mark as the clock continued to wind down.
The Bluejays scored consecutive goals to make it an 18-9 game with 13:27 still remaining, but Clare Theisen sent home her fifth goal of the game to put the Belles ahead 19-9 with 12:15 to play. Elmhurst added three goals with under four minutes to play, but Erin Doyle capped off a strong win and a solid individual offensive performance with a free position goal in the final minute of play for the 20-12 final.
Saint Mary's was strong on the draw control in the contest as the Belles gained 26 possessions off of the draw to Elmhurst's eight. Both sides took 15 free position shots with Saint Mary's edging the Bluejays 11-6 in made free position shots.
Erin Doyle set a new school record for goals in a game in her first collegiate contest with eight to lead the Belles. The freshman tallied an assist to also set a new program record with nine points. Kendra Osinski added a career-high five goals, and Clare Theisen matched her career-high mark with five goals.
Theisen led the team with nine draw controls, five ground balls, and two caused turnovers. The senior co-captain became the first player in program history to surpass 200 career ground balls. Kate Kelly chipped in a goal and eight draw controls, and Doyle collected eight draw controls. Raigan Althouse added her first goal of her collegiate career, and Hanna Makowski picked up an assist. Emily Kraker made 10 saves in goal while earning her first win.
The Belles (1-0) return to action on Sunday, March 11 when they face Puget Sound at Pacific University at 3:00 p.m. PDT.