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Belles Blank Yellow Jackets

Maya Cole passes the soccer ball while shielding off a defensive player on her back.

DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Saint Mary's soccer team earned a 2-0 win at Defiance for their first win of the 2018 campaign on Wednesday evening.

The Belles had a pair of early scoring chances just miss early on against the Yellow Jackets. Rose Stackhouse had a header in the fifth minute of play sail just over the crossbar. Four minutes later, Stackhouse had a one-on-one chance against the Defiance goalkeeper saved immediately off of her foot inside the 18-yard box.

Stackhouse and Lexi Trombly each had a shot go off the mark, and Sophie Bubnar added a pair of shots which were also off frame as the game remained scoreless, With under two minutes remaining in the half, Thallia Robles registered a save on the first shot on goal she faced as the game went to the break knotted at 0-0.

Saint Mary's came out of the halftime break with new energy and lots of offensive pressure against the Defiance back line. Madison Jurgovan nearly netted a goal in the opening minute of the period as the effort was blocked in the box. Sophie Bubnar had a shot go high in the 47th minute, and Lexi Trombly saw her shot get saved in the 48th minute.

In the 58th minute of play, the Yellow Jackets had their best scoring chance of the contest. Play resumed from out of bounds with Defiance having possession of the ball on the left side of the field. A centering cross saw a forward find some open space inside the 18-yard box. A shot traveling to the far post was pushed away with a diving save by Thallia Robles as the Belles kept the Yellow Jackets off the scoreboard.

Four minutes later, the Belles broke through with the first goal of the game. Lindsey Herdsman had the ball along the right sideline in the 63rd minute of action. She played the ball centrally to a wide open Maya Cole, who then took a turned, took a touch, and blasted a shot from distance into the goal to put Saint Mary's up 1-0.

Less than six minutes later, the Belles were playing ahead from the left side of the pitch. Haylee Shahan pushed a ball in toward Madison Jurgovan, who deflected the ball ahead onto a run by Elizabeth Schulte. Schulte, having already beat her defender, took a couple of touches before sending a cross into the box. On the receiving end of that cross was Lexi Trombly, who delicately chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the goal for the 2-0 lead in the 69th minute.

Abby Schmidt nearly made it a 3-0 advantage after a water break. Schmidt had a one-on-one chance in the 18-yard box, but the Yellow Jackets' goalkeeper again came off of her line to stop the shot right off of Schmidt's foot. Alexis Hernandez added a shot on goal, and Madison Jurgovan registered a shot on goal as the Belles continued to wear down Defiance on a hot, sunny afternoon. Robles, meanwhile, added another save in the 82nd minute to hold the Yellow Jackets at bay.

The shutout was the first for the Belles soccer program since a 0-0 double overtime tie at Adrian while it was the first shutout victory for Saint Mary's since a 1-0 win over Trine in 2014.

Maya Cole registered the game-winning goal while Lindsey Herdsman collected the assist on the play. Lexi Trombly added an insurance goal for the Belles with Madison Jurgovan and Elizabeth Schulte garnering assists. The points were all the first collegiate goals and assists for all five players. Thallia Robles earned her first career shutout for the Belles while picking up three saves.

The Belles (1-2) are home on Saturday as they host Augustana at noon.