San Antonio–Freshman David Peterson had two goals, while Bryan Plagge had a goal and two assists as St. Mary’s University used a second half surge to roll past Newman University 4-1 in Heartland Conference men’s soccer action Sunday afternoon at St. Mary’s University Soccer Field.
Despite dominating play through the first 45 minutes, the Rattlers found themselves in a scoreless tie at the half with the Jets. St. Mary’s took 14 shots in the first period to just two for Newman. But the goaltending of Newman’s Emmanuel Gutierrez helped keep the Jets in the game.
The game then turned early in the second half. Just three minutes into the second half Vincent Awulonu stole a ball deep in Rattler territory and went one-on-one with goalkeeper Jason Horn (Jr., San Antonio). Awulonu touched the ball past Horn towards an empty net when Chris Vaughn (So., Cibolo) slid and cleared the ball off the goal line to preserve the shutout.
The great defensive play seemed to fire up the Rattlers, who finally broke through shortly afterward. Chris Smith (So., San Antonio) brought the ball up the left side, dribbled past three Jet defenders, and then sent a cross to Scott Kilpatrick (Sr., Converse). Kilpatrick settled the ball with his back to the goal, turned and fired a shot just out of the reach of Gutierrez in the upper right corner to give the Rattlers a 1-0 lead.
The Rattlers continued to put the pressure on Newman, taking a total of 23 shots in the second half and the final 10 minutes of the game they blew the game open. Luke Smith (Sr., Kerrville) brought the ball up the middle of the field, dribbled left and crossed the ball to the far side of the net where Plagge (Jr., San Antonio) one-touched the ball past Gutierrez for a 2-0 Rattler lead. Less than two minutes later the Rattlers extended the lead. Plagge sent a through ball to Peterson (Fr., Saginaw), who blasted the ball into the left corner for a 3-0 lead. Peterson struck again just one minute later for his second goal of the game, also on an assist from Plagge. Jose Alvarez scored a late goal to wrap up the scoring.
With the win the Rattlers improved to 3-2-0 overall and 2-0-0 in Heartland Conference play, while Newman fell to 2-2-1 and 0-1-1. St. Mary’s will return to action on Sunday when they host Eastern New Mexico University at noon at St. Mary’s Soccer Field to wrap up their three-game homestand.