Belles Stopped by Hornets
- Hannah Fisher made 16 saves in goal as the Belles defense had a strong collective effort on the afternoon.
- Cedella Breitenstein, McKenna O'Shea, and Brianna Smith each registered a shot.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's soccer team lost a 4-0 final at home against Kalamazoo on Saturday.
In the opening minute, the Belles had a pair of threatening chances while playing into a strong south wind. Megan Saunders and Mary Murphy each played a long ball over the top of the defense for McKenna O'Shea to run onto in the offensive end. Both times, however, a pinching defender came in on the play and was shoulder to shoulder with O'Shea to prevent the freshman from getting off a shot.
In the eighth minute, the Belles had a solid defensive stop on a corner kick nearly turn into a scoring chance at the other end. McKenna O'Shea cut in front of a short corner by Kalamazoo and quickly carried the ball up the field. She then laced a pass ahead for Molly Murphy. Murphy and the final Kalamazoo defender both raced to the ball, but the Hornets' center back played the ball away before Murphy could get the needed touch for the breakaway opportunity.
Hannah Fisher and the Belles' back line kept Saint Mary's right in the game with the Hornets. Fisher stopped the first ten shots on goal she faced. Emily Beedie came up with a big stop on a dangerous cross by the Hornets as the junior defender had a leaping header at the right post to clear the ball away to keep the game locked at 0-0 with under 12 minutes on the clock. Three minutes later, Beedie won possession back from the Hornets and played the ball ahead to Molly Murphy. Murphy then laid a pass ahead for O'Shea. Trying to turn the corner past the last defender, O'Shea had the ball toe-poked away to stop the chance with just over eight minutes left in the half.
Kalamazoo, however, was able to break through the Belles' stingy defense late in the half with a goal in the 41st minute of play.
Beedie came up with a big play early in the second half as she immediately blocked a shot off of the foot of a Kalamazoo player well inside the box that looked to be a sure goal for the Hornets. Kalamazoo did get a second goal in the 52nd minute, but the Belles continued to hold strong in their defensive end.
Callie Doyle cut off a pass in the Belles offensive half of the field in the 59th minute of play. The sophomore carried the ball to her left and had a step on her defender at the top of the box as she looked to get Saint Mary's on the scoreboard. Her final touch, however, was just a little too strong as the Hornets were able to play the ball away without a shot.
The defense came through with two big stops in the 65th and 72nd minutes to keep the Belles within striking distance. A series of crisp passes by the Hornets resulted in a shot from point-blank range inside the six-yard box, but Hannah Fisher made a diving save to her left to stop the certain goal. In the 72nd minute, a shot got past Fisher, but Megan Saunders came from the center of the box behind her goalkeeper and was able to head the ball off the line and out of the box.
The Hornets made it a 3-0 game in the 78th minute. The Belles had two more strong scoring chances as the clock moved under 10 minutes. Ashley Hernandez was whistled for being offside on what would have been a breakaway chance for the freshman off of a well-placed pass by O'Shea in the 82nd minute. Cedella Breitenstein picked up a pass from Molly Murphy and pushed the ball wide right into space. She carried it along the side of the 18 before firing a dangerous shot only to have the effort carry wide left. Kalamazoo added a goal in the 88th minute for the 4-0 final.
Hannah Fisher made 16 saves in goal as the Belles defense had a strong collective effort on the afternoon. Cedella Breitenstein, McKenna O'Shea, and Brianna Smith each registered a shot.
The Belles (1-11, 0-10 MIAA) travel to Calvin for a 7:00 p.m. conference match on Tuesday, October 10.