KALAMAZOO - The Kalamazoo College women's lacrosse team won its Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener 16-9 over Saint Mary's College on Wednesday at MacKenzie Field.
Kalamazoo scored the first two goals of the contest and led 4-1 after 11 minutes.
The visiting Belles got on a roll and scored the next three goals, however, to even the score at 4-4.
Kalamazoo responded by scoring the final three goals of the half to take a 7-4 lead into halftime.
Kalamazoo scored the first two goals of the second half, but Saint Mary's was still within four goals (11-7) with 7:07 left in regulation. Kalamazoo scored three straight goals to create some distance before finishing with the 16-9 win.
"It was great to get our first MIAA win tonight," said Kalamazoo Head Coach Emilia Ward. "It sets us up early for our ultimate goal of a conference championship."
"We were able to get our offense up and running tonight and got some other players in scoring situations. I think we relaxed a little after getting up early, but we made some adjustments and played more of our game in the second half."
Anika Sproull led Kalamazoo with eight goals on 12 shots along with two ground balls and three draw controls.
"Anika [Sproull] had a huge game tonight and was everywhere on the field," Ward said.
Anna Dariaghi had a goal and an assist along with a team-high four ground balls and two draw controls.
"Anna [Dariaghi] had a good all-around game and really transitioned the ball well tonight."
Ivy McKee made eight saves in goal.
Kalamazoo outshot Saint Mary's 39-21, including 33-17 on goal. Kalamazoo had 23 ground balls compared to 17 for Saint Mary's, while the Belles held a 14-13 edge in draw controls.
The Hornets were 16-for-17 on clear attempts compared to 10-of-17 for the Belles.
Kalamazoo returns to action with a game at Alma College on Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m.