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Belles Battle Back to Take Down Pirates

Katie Haas runs upfield with the ball as several players are visible in the background.
GEORGETOWN, Texas - Trailing 12-11 nearly twelve minutes into the second half, the Saint Mary's lacrosse team scored the final six goals of the game to secure a 17-12 win over host Southwestern University on Sunday afternoon.
The Belles came out strong and built a 4-0 lead through the first 4:49 of play. Katie Haas put Saint Mary's on the scoreboard after burying a shot off a pass from Shannon McCloskey. Erin Doyle won the next draw and raced up the field for her first goal of the game just 27 seconds later. Bridget Kane came away with the ensuing draw control and sent home a goal of her own. Kane then forced a turnover on Southwestern's next possession to get the ball back for the Belles. Erin Doyle found Katie Haas in transition, and Haas sent home her second goal of the game.
Southwestern chipped away at the Belles' lead with three goals over the next seven-plus minutes of play to make it a 4-3 game, but Gabby Belsito scored off of a feed from Doyle to give Saint Mary's a 5-3 edge. Saint Mary's capitalized on a turnover by the Pirates on the next possession as Katie Haas gave the Belles a 6-3 lead with 15:50 still to play in the opening period. The Pirates, however, responded with a quick goal and added three more to their total to take a 7-6 lead with 10:44 remaining in the half. After much back-and-forth play, Emily Kraker made a big save on a transition chance with seven minutes on the clock. The Belles were successful on the ensuing clear, and Kendra Osinski drew Saint Mary's even at 7-7 with her first goal of the day. Doyle came away with the next draw, and Kane found Haas as Haas buried her fourth goal of the half for an 8-7 lead for the Belles just 18 seconds later. Southwestern knotted the game with just under three minutes remaining in the opening stanza, and the Pirates took a 9-8 lead into the halftime break with a goal in the final minute.
Osinski got the Belles back on the scoreboard early in the half as the teams continued to battle back-and-forth. After a Southwestern goal, Haas and Doyle sent home back-to-back goals for an 11-10 lead with 20:31 on the clock. The Pirates countered with a pair of goals within the span of 37 seconds a few minutes later, but the Belles dialed up the redefend and the intensity over the final 18 minutes of play. Saint Mary's fired three shots on goal before Doyle found the back of the cage to tie things up at 12-12, and a redefend in the midfield led to a goal by Katie Haas almost three minutes later as the Belles took a 13-12 lead.
Molly Mullett won the next draw control, and Erin Dotson lit up the scoreboard for the first time in her college career as the energy continued to build for the Belles. The defense came up with a pair of blocked shots over the next two minutes of action as Saint Mary's continued to hold the two-goal advantage. Another stop on defense then turned into offense with Molly Mullett burying a shot off of a feed from Doyle with 3:09 to play. The momentum swayed completely in the Belles' favor after Kane came away with the draw control and Doyle sent home a shot late in the possession clock for a 16-12 lead with under two minutes to go. Shannon McCloskey capped off the day with a goal with 1:15 on the clock, and the Belles ran out the remainder of the game on offense after Doyle pulled down the next draw for the 17-12 decision.
The Belles held a 19-11 edge over the Pirates in draw controls for the game and won nine of 12 draws in the second half alone. Saint Mary's out-shot Southwestern by a 36-25 margin on the day with a 17-11 advantage in the second period.
Erin Doyle matched her school record with five assists while netting four goals en route to a nine-point performance. With that effort, the junior moved into first place all-time in career points (281 points) for the Belles lacrosse program as she surpassed Kate Kelly's previous record of 278 points. Doyle had a game-high eight draw controls in the win. Katie Haas scored a career-high six goals on just eight shots as she also picked up two ground balls and two draw controls. Kendra Osinski added two goals. Bridget Kane and Shannon McCloskey each chipped in a goal and an assist while Kane tallied six draw controls and two caused turnovers. Erin Dotson scored the first goal of her collegiate career, and Molly Mollett and Gabby Belsito each netted a goal. Emily Kraker made seven saves in goal for the Belles in the win.
The Belles (2-3) take on Wittenberg on Tuesday, March 10 at Southwestern University with a 4:00 p.m. CDT start time.