NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's soccer team took a 3-1 conference win over Alma on Sunday afternoon for their first MIAA win of the season.
The Scots put some pressure on the Belles early as Alma registered a pair of corner kicks and a shot on goal in the opening two minutes of action as Delaney Rohlman came up with the save. Rohlman made another stop in the 12th minute as the home side worked to build momentum and flip the pressure onto Alma. In the 16th minute, Rose Stackhouse intercepted a pass near the center circle in the Belles' offensive end. The freshman turned with the ball and slotted a pass ahead on the left flank into space for Sophie Bubnar. Having already beaten her defender, Bubnar picked up the ball and carried it into the 18-yard box before sending home her eighth goal of the season for the 1-0 Saint Mary's lead.
Rohlman picked up another save - this time on a shot from mid-distance - a few minutes later to keep the Belles ahead. In the 21st minute, Saint Mary's broke through again. Madison Jurgovan passed the ball up to Rose Stackhouse near the top of the 18-yard box. Stackhouse cut the back to the center of the field and worked around a defender trying to slide tackle the ball away before depositing a shot inside the left post to make it 2-0.
The Belles nearly struck again less than two minutes later. A foul 24 yards away from the goal against the Scots gave Saint Mary's an opportunistic free kick. Maya Cole played a quick, central pass to Sophie Bubnar. Bubnar took a shot from the top of the box only to have the effort saved by the diving Alma goalkeeper.
In the 27th minute, Alma got on the scoreboard. A turnover deep in the defensive end by the Belles led to a pass from the left side of the box toward the middle of the zone by a Scots forward. The pass from the left led to a shot from the top of the box, which went just inside the right post at Alma cut the lead to 2-1.
The Belles had the best scoring chance of either side over the final 15 minutes of the opening half in the 39th minute. Rose Stackhouse settled the ball in the offensive end and played a pass to Sophie Bubnar. Bubnar had the give-and-go pass to lead Stackhouse into space. The freshman fired a close-range shot from well inside the box only to have the shot stopped by a strong sliding save by the Alma goalkeeper.
The visiting Scots put a lot of pressure on the Saint Mary's defense throughout the second half of play as they searched for the equalizer against the Belles. Saint Mary's, however, continued to find an answer and shut down the Alma attack while limiting the shots on goal. The Belles did reap the benefits of a counterattack late in the contest. Haylee Shahan played a ball from along the right side ahead for Stackhouse. The freshman challenged her defender one-on-one and worked around the Alma defense at the right edge of the 18-yard box. Stackhouse played a cross from the end line into the box, and a sliding defender redirected the cross into Alma's own goal to give Saint Mary's the 3-1 edge in the 81st minute.
Alma had a late scoring chance in the 89th on a corner kick where the ball deflected off of several Scots and Belles in the box before Saint Mary's was able to clear the ball out of the 18-yard box. Rohlman added another save in the 90th minute to preserve the 3-1 decision for the Belles.
Rose Stackhouse led the Belles with a goal and an assist on three shots. Sophie Bubnar added a goal on three shots, and Maya Cole and Elizabeth Schulte each tallied two shots. Delaney Rohlman made seven saves for Saint Mary's to help lift the Belles to their first conference win since 2015.
The Belles (6-7, 1-2 MIAA) travel to Calvin on Wednesday, October 10 for a 7:00 p.m. contest against the Knights.