Belles Fall in Heartbreaker to Comets
- Lindsay Rzepecki scored her first goal of the season.
- Jenn Jarmy tallied the game-tying goal with less than four minutes left in regulation.
- Cara Givens made a season-high 10 saves.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After netting the game-tying goal in the final four minutes of regulation, the Saint Mary's soccer team suffered a 3-2 double overtime loss at the hands of Olivet on Saturday afternoon.
The Belles were the stronger side of the two throughout the entire first half of play. Putting the pressure on the Comets early, Saint Mary's earned their first corner kick less than two minutes into the contest. Despite a well-played ball by Rachel Moore on the corner, the Belles were unable to get off a shot.
A few minutes later, Jenn Jarmy carried the ball up the right side of the field before sending a cross into the box. But again, the opportunity from the pass never came to fruition as the defense played the ball away.
Continuing to keep the ball on the Comets' defensive end of the field, Lindsay Rzepecki played a pass well into the 18-yard box toward Liza Felix. The junior forward, however, was whistled for a foul on what would have been a strong scoring chance for Felix.
It seemed as though it was just a matter of time before the Belles broke through, and it did not take much longer into the game for that statement to become a reality. Lindsay Rzepecki gave the Belles the 1-0 lead in the 15th minute of play. Emily Rompola played a long pass up the middle and beyond the Comets' defensive backline. Rzepecki picked up the pass and had no one but the goalkeeper to beat, and the senior sent home her first goal of the season for the Saint Mary's lead.
The pressure continued for the Belles' offense against the Olivet defense over the next 30 minutes of play. Maggie McLaughlin and Kathryn Lueking each had good looks at goal, but McLaughlin's shot was saved while Lueking's redirection rolled just wide right.
The second half felt was not only a change in the defensive ends for the teams, but it was also a change in the momentum and flow of the game. The Comets turned into the aggressors. Olivet got on the scoreboard on a long-range shot which appeared to have been stopped until the linesman raised his flag to indicate the ball had passed the plane of the goal line in the 49th minute. Twelve minutes later, a loose ball on a save by Cara Givens was followed up too quickly by an Olivet player and punched in from close range to make it 2-1 for the Comets in the 61st minute.
The Belles were resolute in their determination to not go down without a fight. After withstanding a handful of shots by the Comets over the next 15 minutes, Saint Mary's was still within striking distance or one good bounce of drawing even. Baylee Adams was on the receiving end of a pass by Liza Felix from the right endline inside the box, but the sophomore's one-time shot went directly to the Comets' goalkeeper.
As the clock moved below the four-minute mark, the Belles got the bounce they worked so hard to get. Jenn Jarmy stepped directly in front of a clearing pass by the Comets in the waning moments of the second half. Rather than traveling up-field, Jarmy completely changed the direction of the ball and sent the game-tying goal in past the keeper to knot the score at 2-2 with 3:42 remaining.
The Belles nearly completed the comeback early in the first overtime period. Adams had a shot blocked out of bounds to earn Saint Mary's a corner kick 1:20 into the first extra period. Moore put the ball into dangerous territory on the ensuing corner kick. After much redirection by both sides, the ball fell to Rzepecki's feet less than six yards away from the goal line. The senior's game-winning attempt, however, rolled directly to the keeper as the game stayed alive.
In the second overtime, the Comets were able to capitalize on the slight wind from the south east blowing toward their offensive end. A long punt by the goalkeeper took a bounce directly to an offensive player for Olivet. A cut-back move inside the box led to a shot that found its way inside the far post to end the game 3-2 in favor of the Comets.
Jenn Jarmy had four shots and a goal while Lindsay Rzepecki had two shots and a goal. Emily Rompola collected an assist. Cara Givens made a season-high 10 saves in goal for the Belles.
The Belles (1-10-1, 1-8-1 MIAA) travel to Kalamazoo for a 7:00 p.m. contest against the Hornets on Tuesday evening.