The Saint Mary’s lacrosse team has become accustomed to charting previously uncharted territory for the program. In four seasons, the Belles have increased both their overall and conference win totals each season while climbing the ranks of the MIAA. Last spring, the team finished second in the regular season standings and hosted a MIAA Tournament Semifinal. This year, the Belles continue to have their goals set around things previously unaccomplished by the young program.
The foundation of that success in 2018 is likely to be built upon a strong core of junior and senior student-athletes. Clare Theisen ’18, Kate Kelly ’19, and Rachael Leonard ’19 each garnered All-MIAA recognition a season ago and have been versatile contributors for the Belles. Theisen has amassed better than 100 goals, 100 ground balls, 100 draw controls, and 100 caused turnovers in three seasons. Kelly has surpassed the 100-point plateau and is closing in on the century mark in both goals and caused turnovers. Leonard had a breakout season as a sophomore and was one of only three defenders who earned First Team All-MIAA recognition in 2017.
Caleigh Gainey ’18, Mary Grace Heller ‘18, Hanna Makowski ’18, Liana O’Grady ’18, and Molly Stout ’19 round out the Belles’ returning senior and junior classes in 2018. Gainey is nearing 100 ground balls in her career. Makowski has been a steady contributor in goals and assists over the past three seasons. O’Grady picked up a single-season high in ground balls last spring. Stout nearly tripled her point output from her freshman to sophomore seasons and was the fourth-highest point scorer in 2017 for the Belles.
That core group of student-athletes will be complemented by an eager group of underclass talent. Kendra Osinski ’20 was third on the team in goals in her first year with the team. Several first-year members of the squad will make an immediate impact on the field for the Belles in 2018.
The Belles begin their 2018 season at home when they host Elmhurst on Tuesday, March 6. The team will open their conference slate of competition on Friday, March 30 at home against Alma.