Belles Stopped by Comets in Conference Opener
- Thallia Robles made 14 saves in goal for the Belles on the night.
- McKenna O'Shea tallied four shots.
- Cedella Breitenstein, Kelsey Matyi, and Brianna Smith each registered a shot
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's soccer team fell by a 3-0 final against Olivet in their conference opener on Wednesday evening.
The visiting Comets controlled much of the possession over the opening 45 minutes of play, but the Belles had two strong opportunities in the first period which came up just shy of materializing. In the 18th minute of action, Molly Murphy and Kelsey Matyi connected on the left sideline just in front of the Saint Mary's bench with a give-and-go set up. Murphy had the ball back at her feet with some space in the middle of the Belles' offensive end, but the sophomore was unable to get off a shot or a clear pass before possession was lost. O'Shea and Cedella Breitenstein each tallied a shot in the 28th and 34th minutes, but O'Shea's strike went wide right while Breitenstein's was corralled by the goalkeeper. Late in the half, Megan Saunders played a pass into the box for McKenna O'Shea, but the ball was cleared out of the area before O'Shea could get a touch on it. Olivet scored the only goal of the first half in the 25th minute to hold the 1-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw both teams have stretches of possession. Just after the starting whistle of the period, the Belles had two threatening plays to put the Comets on their heels. Kelsey Matyi played a ball into O'Shea, who tried to cut the ball back to the left before being double teamed. On the attempted clear by Olivet on that same play, Megan Saunders regained possession for the Belles. Saunders sent another ball into the box toward O'Shea only to have the pass cut off by the goalkeeper. Two minutes later, Matyi again had a hopeful pass into space toward O'Shea, but the ball ran too long for the forward.
Brianna Smith and Matyi each fired a shot from distance in the 54th and 57th minutes, respectively, but both shots were off the mark as the Belles continued to put the pressure on the Comets.
Olivet added to their lead in the 66th minute, but Saint Mary's came right back with a pair of threatening opportunities. Smith had a well-paced pass roll up into space for O'Shea, but the freshman's one-time effort sailed just over the crossbar. In the 73rd minute, the Belles had their best chance of the evening. Saunders found open space up the field and laid a pass just ahead of O'Shea, who timed her run perfectly past her defender. O'Shea dribbled ahead with a pair of touches, but the Olivet goalkeeper was able to come off her line and make the breakaway save to keep Saint Mary's off the scoreboard.
The Comets added a third goal in the 80th minute for the 3-0 final score.
Thallia Robles made 14 saves in goal for the Belles on the night. McKenna O'Shea tallied four shots, and Cedella Breitenstein, Kelsey Matyi, and Brianna Smith each registered a shot for Saint Mary's.
The Belles (1-2, 0-1 MIAA) return to the pitch on Saturday, September 9 when they travel to Kalamazoo for a 12:00 p.m. contest.