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Belles Fall to Unbeaten Vikings

Jillian Bowen dribbles the soccer ball forward.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - The Saint Mary's soccer team came up on the short end of a 3-0 final at regionally-ranked Augustana on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams battled a steady rainfall from before the opening whistle through the end of the contest. The Belles had the first look at a scoring chance as Lexi Trombly had a shot on goal saved in the second minute of action. The Vikings responded with a pair of on-goal shots which Kam Lewkowski handled to keep the game scoreless through 18 minutes of play. Less than a minute later, Rose Stackhouse slid a lateral pass to Maya Cole on a combination play at the top of the box. Cole fired a shot from the top of the box, but her effort went wide of the goal frame.
Augustana broke the deadlock with a goal in the 23rd minute. Jillian Bowen came right back with a shot on the next Saint Mary's possession but was wide of goal. In the 29th minute, Rose Stackhouse won the ball back about 30 yards out from the goal. The sophomore shielded a defender as she played a pass toward Trombly at the top of the box, but the ball was too heavy as it carried into the box and away from Trombly. In the 33rd minute, the Belles stood tall deep in their defensive zone as Maya Cole and Megan Saunders combined for strong team defending before blocking a shot inside the box and away from goal as the game stood at 1-0 at the halftime break.
In the second half, Kellen Hinchey sent a free kick from well within the Belles' defensive end up and beyond the center line, where it was deflected and carried beyond the end line for a Saint Mary's corner kick. Maya Cole put the ensuing corner at the top of the six-yard box at the near post, but the Belles were unable to get a body behind the ball for a potential shot. In the 53rd minute, the Vikings doubled their lead with a shot from distance which found the bottom of the crossbar before ricocheting down and across the goal line for a 2-0 score.
Saint Mary's made a big push after that goal to try to break through. Jillian Bowen had a shot on goal saved in the 58th minute, and Rose Stackhouse added a shot in the 59th minute that was blocked at the top of the box. A short while later, Sophia Fleming won possession of the ball along the left flank and played a long ball into the box toward Trombly, but the pass was too strong as it carried out of bounds for a goal kick. Fleming added a shot of her own in the 79th minute which tailed wide of goal. The Vikings put up a third goal in the 90th minute as Augustana (5-0-2) claimed the 3-0 decision.
Jillian Bowen had a pair of shots for the Belles. Maya Cole, Rose Stackhouse, Lexi Trombly, and Sophia Fleming each added a shot. Kam Lewkowski made four saves in goal.

The Belles (5-4) return home to host Heidelberg at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 28.