NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's soccer team fell by a 5-0 final against No. 18 ranked Hope on Saturday afternoon.
The Flying Dutch struck in the sixth minute for a quick lead against the Belles. Rose Stackhouse nearly found the equalizer a minute later. The freshman had the ball just outside of the 18-yard box along the right side of the Belles' attacking end. Stackhouse fired a bending shot, which went right to left toward the left post, but the effort bent just wide of the post and out of play. Hope added a second goal in the 14th minute, but the Belles continued to work for chances.
The Flying Dutch extended their lead with goals in the 38th and 39th minutes. Saint Mary's had one of their best scoring chances of the period in the 40th minute. Becca Stella won the ball back twice in quick succession along the right flank before finding some space in the offensive end. Stella sent a dipping shot from 20 yards out and beat the goalkeeper high only to see her shot ricochet off the center of the crossbar.
Saint Mary's played a very competitive second half against their nationally-ranked counterparts. Rose Stackhouse worked her way around a pair of defenders deep in the offensive end early in the second period. She then crossed a dangerous pass into the box to the near post on the right side. Elizabeth Schulte had a crack at the ball, but her shot went just wide right from close range in the 48th minute. Hope scored their fifth goal in the 60th minute, but the Belles stood strong on defense and fought for possession in the midfield while putting pressure on the Hope defense.
Two scoring chances came late in the contest for the home side. In the 83rd minute, Stackhouse played a pass ahead into space for Madison Jurgovan to run onto near the edge of the box. Jurgovan took a touch into the box before firing a shot with the Hope goalkeeper off of her line. The strike, however, skimmed just off of the crossbar and out of play. With under four minutes remaining, Elizabeth Schulte was on the passing end of a dangerous ball into the box as she looked to connect with Sophie Bubnar. A melee of movement and several colliding bodies ended the threat with no call made against either side.
The Belles (6-11, 1-6 MIAA) conclude their season on Tuesday, October 23 when they host Trine at 7:00 p.m.