Thunder Comeback Comes Up Just Short in Opener at Olivet

OLIVET, Mich. - In their season opener, Trine had their second half comeback fall just short as they fell to Olivet, 12-8.

Olivet began the game scoring the first three goals before freshman Bronti Belanger (Haslett, Mich./Haslett) on the Thunder on the board at 21:58 of the first half. It would be Trine's only goal of the half as the Comets netted six straight goals to close the half, including two in the final 59 seconds. With 41 seconds left in the half, the Thunder were given a red card for unsportsmanlike conduct, and had to play the rest of the game a player down.

The Thunder came out with a fire in the second half as they scored the first goal of the half by senior Emily Canepa (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) who scored on a free position attempt at 27:05. After an Olivet goal 18 seconds later, Canepa would score her second of the game. Sophomore Taylor Gast (Akron, Ind./Tippecanoe Valley) then scored her first career goal on a free position shot at 20:41. Olivet would counter with a free position goal of their own as they led 11-4.

The Thunder went on the offensive as they scored four straight goals to mount the comeback. Sophomore Kassi Armstrong (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) would net her first goal of the season at 16:58. Belanger then went on to score three consecutive goals at 14:16, 13:33 and 9:46 to pull the Thunder within three. The Trine offense would be unable to pull any closer over the final 9 minutes as Olivet netted their final goal late in the half.

For the game, Olivet out-shot the Thunder 33-26. Trine held a 31-28 advantage on groundballs recovered while both teams had nearly identical numbers in turnovers and caused turnovers. Trine committed 26 errors while forcing 11 and Olivet committed 27 while causing 12.

The Thunder were able to hold Olivet to just 9 of 20 on clearing opportunities while Trine converted on 15 of 22 chances. Olivet held a 13-9 advantage on draw controls.

Belanger led the Thunder with four goals on the day and also grabbed five groundballs and two draw controls. Canepa added two goals and led the Thunder with four caused turnovers and three draw controls. Canepa tied for the team lead with sophomore goalie Grace Garrett (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) with six groundballs. Freshman Anne Mammel (Tecumseh, Mich./Tecumseh) also had three caused turnovers, three groundballs and two draw controls in her first collegiate game.

In goal, Garrett made nine saves on the afternoon, with seven coming in the first half.

Trine will return to action on March 24 when they host DePauw for their home opener at noon.


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