Belles Stymied by Raiders
- Kellen Hinchey led the Belles with two shots.
- Thallia Robles made eight saves in goal.
- Liza Felix and Emily Rompola were both named to the all-tournament team for their play during the weekend.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's soccer team narrowly missed finding the equalizer late in a 1-0 loss to the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) on day two of the Belles Invitational at the Purcell Athletic Fields.
Visiting MSOE controlled big portions of possession through the opening 45 minutes of play, but the Belles had a trio of strong scoring chances in the first half. Mary Wandor opened the game with an early shot on goal, which was collected without exacting any harm in the third minute of play. In the 14th minute, Wandor was on the back side of a threatening cross deep in the Belles' offensive end of the field. Her cross went off a defender and nearly out for a corner kick before being picked up by the goalkeeper.
In the 29th minute, Saint Mary's had their best chance of the first half. Kellen Hinchey sent a corner kick well into the box. That pass landed between Kay Thursby and Jennifer Buck as the pair both deflected it before Thursby dropped a pass back to Hinchey. The freshman launched a low shot from inside the 18-yard box, but the effort was scooped up a step in front of the goal line.
After the game resumed play after the scoreless first half, the Belles put the pressure on early in the second period. Wandor had yet another dangerous cross that the Raiders headed out of play to concede a corner kick in the 48th minute. After Callie Doyle had a mid-range shot stopped on one hop, the Raiders struck with a high shot which found its way just below the crossbar for a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute of action.
In the 65th minute, it looked as though the Belles were going to break through. Kate Vasile passed a ball over the top into space for a wide open Jennifer Buck. The freshman raced toward goal with the keeper to beat, but a heavy touch rolled just far enough ahead to give the MSOE goalkeeper the chance to smother the ball before a shot could be made.
The defense kept Saint Mary's in the game as the back line shut down a pair of possessions which were building to threatening chances. One such instance was when Emily Rompola came up with a big blocked shot in the middle of the field with 13 minutes to go as the Raiders were pushing on the counter attack. Thallia Robles came up with a handful of big saves down the stretch to keep the Raiders off the scoreboard and the Belles still in contention for a result.
In the final six minutes of play, the Belles had three more chances which came up short. Wandor sent her third solid cross of the game into toward the mouth of the goal with just over five minutes left on the clock. Her ball caught the MSOE defense flat-footed, but there was not a blue jersey within striking distance on the other end of the pass as the ball rolled through the six-yard box and away from goal. A short while later, Wandor connected with Hinchey, but Hinchey's pass into the box was quickly collected by the goalkeeper. In the waning seconds of play, the Belles earned a corner kick to have one last look at equalizing. Wandor quickly sent the ball into the box, and Shayleigh O'Donnell's shot from a few yards off of the left post was blocked just off her foot to end the game.
Kellen Hinchey led the Belles with two shots. Callie Doyle, Mary Wandor, Shay O'Donnell, and Juliana De Ona each added one shot. Thallia Robles made eight saves in goal.
"I'm proud of the team's effort and excited to begin conference play with this group," commented head coach Jesse Urquhart. "T (Thallia) made big saves today, a number of first year players performed like experienced college players, and it's exciting for the coaches to watch players grow in their roles so quickly."
After the conclusion of the tournament, Liza Felix and Emily Rompola were both named to the all-tournament team for their play during the weekend. It is the first collegiate all-tournament team honor for each player.
The Belles (1-1) open Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play on Wednesday, September 7 when they travel to Albion for a 5:00 p.m. contest.