Belles Fall to Knights
- McKenna O'Shea scored her eighth goal of the season for the Belles.
- Cedella Breitenstein notched her first collegiate assist.
- Hannah Fisher made 11 saves.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Saint Mary's soccer team fell in a 7-1 final against Calvin on Tuesday evening at Zuidema Field.
The Belles' defense stood tall against the Knights early on in the contest as Calvin had a handful of early chances go off the mark or stopped by Saint Mary's goalkeeper Hannah Fisher. At the other end of the field, the Belles nearly put together a scoring combination in the 19th minute of action. McKenna O'Shea gained possession of the ball along the left side of the field. She played a pass ahead to Molly Murphy just outside of the center circle. The sophomore used good body positioning and strength to shield off her defender to keep the ball and push the offense further ahead. After taking a couple of touches, Murphy laced a pass through the middle of the field as Ashley Hernandez made the far run along the right flank. The pass, however, carried too long for Hernandez as the Calvin goalkeeper was able to pick up the ball at the top of the box to break up the play.
The Knights did get on the scoreboard with three goals in the first half to take the lead, but the Belles continued to try to push forward and put pressure on the Calvin back line. One of those late chances came in the closing minutes when McKenna O'Shea raced toward the Calvin goalkeeper at the top of the box as the pair tried to get to the ball first. The Knights' netminder got to the ball first, but O'Shea nearly found herself in the right place at the right time as the clear missed the freshman by mere inches in what likely would have been a goal on the deflection.
Saint Mary's had a handful of good possessions early in the second period of play. Early in the half, both Kellen Hinchey and McKenna O'Shea played well-paced passes over the top of the Calvin defense. Each time, however, the play was broken up by a defensive player by the Knights. In the 51st minute, the Belles put their first shot on goal. Hinchey had another solid pass over the defense, and McKenna O'Shea had a well-timed run to gain possession of the ball ahead of the final defender. With a one-versus-one opportunity against the goalkeeper, Calvin's netminder was able to come off the line and make a lunging save.
After the Knights added a fourth goal, the Belles had another strong scoring opportunity. In the 60th minute, Lua Derakhshani ran onto another well-played ball and had a breakaway opportunity. After a couple of well-paced touches, the freshman fired a shot from inside the box only to have the effort punched away. Derakhshani raced down the loose ball off of the punch, but she was unable to get another shot on goal away on the play.
Calvin extended their lead to 7-0 through 76 minutes of play, but Saint Mary's fought to find a way onto the scoreboard. With less than seven minutes to go, O'Shea won a ball on the right side of the field and played it toward the middle for Callie Doyle. Doyle pushed a pass ahead to Cedella Breitenstein, who played a pass back to Doyle. Doyle touched the ball up to Kellen Hinchey, and Hinchey carried the ball head five yards before sending a pass into space on the left side of the pitch into the top-left area of the box. Ashley Hernandez was again making the supporting run, but she was unable to track down the pass before the Calvin goalkeeper picked up the ball.
With the clock winding down, the Belles broke through for a goal in the 87th minute of action. Cedella Breitenstein played a perfectly-weighted pass from the top of the back of the center circle past Calvin's center back. O'Shea cut across the field and picked up the pass for the breakaway opportunity. The freshman carried it right to left and into the box before slipping a shot into the near post for the goal.
McKenna O'Shea scored her eighth goal of the season while Cedella Breitenstein picked up her first collegiate assist. Hannah Fisher made 11 saves in goal.
The Belles (1-12, 0-11 MIAA) have a break in action and return to the pitch on Wednesday, October 18 when they host Alma at 6:00 p.m.