Aug 30, 2019
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Saint Mary's soccer team opened the 2019 campaign with a 2-0 victory over Bluffton on Friday evening.
Saint Mary's halted some early pressure by the host Beavers before steadily building pressure the other way at Bluffton. Brandi Muys, Rose Stackhouse, Sophia Fleming, and Maddy Hansen each had shots either saved or narrowly miss during the opening 34 minutes of play. With the clock winding down to the closing seconds of the first half, the Belles broke through. Maya Cole served a corner kick into the box and off of the crossbar. Brandi Muys then had a redirect in the box, and Rose Stackhouse buried the ball for the first goal of the game with 12 seconds on the clock.
The Belles carried that momentum into the entire second half as Saint Mary's out-shot Bluffton by a 19-5 margin over the final 45 minutes of play. Barely eight minutes into the second period, Saint Mary's struck again. Megan Saunders had a perfectly-paced pass behind a defender and onto the foot of Stackhouse, and the sophomore drilled in a shot from outside of the box to beat the goalkeeper for the 2-0 score in the 54th minute.
Saunders, Fleming, Emily Stross, and Megan Saunders each had strong scoring chances denied as the Beavers' goalkeeper made 15 saves in the contest with 11 of those stops coming in the second period of play. Thallia Robles, meanwhile, preserved the shutout victory wit ha save in the final two minutes as the Belles prevailed 2-0.
Rose Stackhouse had her thirteenth and fourteenth career goals while registering her fourth multi-goal game of her career. Brandi Muys picked up her first collegiate point with an assist on the first goal of the game while Megan Saunders earned an assist on the second goal. Thallia Robles collected her third career shutout in goal after making seven saves.
"Today's game exemplified the hard work, dedication, and team effort coming through in full force," said Robles. "Communication was evident bringing us together on and off the field. We were consistent with building from the back while staying connected resulting in a 2-0 win."
Fellow senior Kellen Hinchey added, "Getting a win to open the season is always important, but this year as a senior, it felt more special. The team really came together, worked hard, and got the job done. It was a great way to start my last collegiate season!"
The Belles (1-0) return home to host Earlham on Sunday starting at 1:00 p.m.