Posted: Sep 01, 2019
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's soccer team prevailed in a 3-2 final in a tight match-up against visiting Earlham in the Belles' home opener on Sunday.
The Belles broke through early against the visiting Quakers. Brandi Muys played a ball from the right side of the field into space for Rose Stackhouse. Stackhouse then ripped a shot from inside the box off of the goalkeeper's hand and into the left side of the net for a 1-0 lead in the third minute of play.
Saint Mary's continued the pressure during the opening 15 minutes of action. Jillian Bowen had an attempt from outside of the box in the seventh minute. Stackhouse then played a ball over the top for Bowen, who then sent a cross into dangerous space, but the goalkeeper cut off the ball from a potential far-post run by the Belles. Brandi Muys had a one-timer in the box smothered at the line in the 12th minute as Saint Mary's pushed to get a second goal early. In the 15th minute, Kellen Hinchey put a well-paced ball into space along the right flank for Muys, but the cross by the freshman into the box was again cut off to keep the game at 1-0.
The Quakers equalized in the 18th minute of play. Earlham played a long ball toward the top of the box, where a player turned and slid a pass along the top of the area to Eva Lyon. Lyon had a rising shot find the space just below the crossbar to make it a 1-1 game.
The Belles nearly came right back with a highlight-reel goal in the 20th minute. Kellen Hinchey took a free kick from 50 yards out and sent a perfectly-placed ball into the box. Megan Saunders worked past a defender and had a diving header find the back of the net, but the goal was called off with a foul against the Belles on the play.
Saint Mary's went ahead in the 34th minute. The Belles won possession of the ball back along the left side of the field, and Rose Stackhouse made a turn around a defender before playing the ball forward. After carrying the ball ahead, she flicked a pass to the top of the box for Lexi Trombly. Trombly was able to get the ball past the diving Earlham goalkeeper and chipped in a shot from eight yards away to make it a 2-1 game.
The Belles gained a 3-1 lead in the 67th minute. Stackhouse battled her way past a defender along the left side of the field before being fouled just inside the box and earning a penalty kick. The sophomore buried the chance from the spot for a 3-1 Saint Mary's advantage.
The Quakers made a late push to get back into the thick of things. A ball played from the left side of the field was redirected back across the goal from inside the box, and Earlham's Hailey Beel found the back of the net in the 80th minute to push the score to 3-2. The Belles, however, dug in and held the Quakers without another scoring chance over the final ten minutes of play to preserve the 3-2 victory.
Saint Mary's is off to their first 2-0 start since the 2011 campaign.
Rose Stackhouse had her second two-goal game in as many contests for the Belles while adding an assist. Lexi Trombly notched her first goal of the 2019 season. Brandi Muys picked up her second point of the year with an assist on the opening goal. Thallia Robles made three saves in goal for the Belles.
Saint Mary's returns home on Wednesday to host Anderson starting at 7:00 p.m.