Lacrosse Season Recap 2016

  • The Belles finished tied for fourth in the MIAA while setting new program records for conference wins in a season.
  • The squad also established a new program record for overall wins in a season.
  • Kate Kelly became the program’s first All-MIAA First Team honoree while Katlynn Dee earned her second consecutive All-MIAA Second Team recognition.

The Saint Mary’s lacrosse team is quickly becoming a force to contend with in the MIAA. In the team’s third year as a varsity team, the bar was once again raised as the Belles finished tied for fourth in the conference and set new program records for conference wins and overall wins in a season.

The team records were not limited to merely win totals in 2016. The Belles set new single-season marks in points, goals, assists, caused turnovers, draw controls, and save percentage. The improvement for the Belles at each area of the game translated itself into steady success throughout the spring.

At any given point in the season, the team did not lose more than two games consecutively while posting their first three-game winning streak in their young history. That three-game winning streak propelled the Belles to the top of the MIAA standings with the victories coming over Adrian, Olivet, and Trine to put Saint Mary’s a 3-0 in conference play for the first time ever.

The Belles bounced back from a pair of losses against MIAA regular season champion Albion and MIAA Tournament champion Calvin with consecutive wins against Alma and Elmhurst. The victory against Alma put the team in position to potentially earn a spot in the top-four MIAA Tournament while ensuring the team of at least a .500 winning percentage in conference play for the first time in program history. The Belles faced off against Kalamazoo in late April with the winner of the game almost assured of a spot in the conference tournament. While the one-goal outcome did not favor Saint Mary’s, the future of the program benefitted from the Belles knowing that they are contenders for one of the top spots in the league.

At the season’s end, the Belles ranked fifth among all NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse teams in caused turnovers per game and were 21st in ground balls per game. Kate Kelly was 12th nationally and Clare Theisen came in 46th in ground balls among all Division III women’s lacrosse players in 2016. Theisen and Kelly were both in the top 60 in caused turnovers.

Individually, several Belles reached big milestones in 2016. Katlynn Dee, Clare Theisen, and Kate Kelly were each named MIAA Player of the Week with Theisen picking up both offensive and defensive player of the week honors once. Theisen went on to be the first player in program history to collect 100 career ground balls in just her sophomore season, and she is quickly closing in on the century mark in draw controls. Emilie Vanneste surpassed the 100-point plateau to become the first player for Saint Mary’s to accomplish the feat. Theisen is not far behind with 92 points to her name, and Dee sits at 91 career caused turnovers to help pace the backfield.

Kate Kelly became the program’s first All-MIAA First Team honoree with the at-large spot after leading the conference in both ground balls and caused turnovers while finishing in the top 20 in points, goals, and draw controls. Katlynn Dee earned her second consecutive All-MIAA Second Team recognition as the Belles' leader on defense while finishing ninth in the conference in caused turnovers.

The 2016 Team Awards handed out at the end of the year were:
Offensive MVP: Clare Theisen
Defensive MVP: Katlynn Dee
Rookie of the Year: Kate Kelly
Most Improved Player: Teresa Guerrero
Coaches Award: Hanna Makowski
Most Spirited Player: Gabby Bravo