San Antonio – Long after all their teammates had already packed up their belongings and headed home, St. Mary’s University’s two seniors, Meldina Gentry and Carolina Hernandez, remained on the bench Saturday.
Reflective, they sat discussing Northeastern State’s 1-0 victory at St. Mary’s Soccer Field, wondering how they let the game slip away.
“We dominated the entire game until about the last three minutes,” said Hernandez, an El Paso native whose blood-stained shirt reflected her hard day’s work. “Everybody worked hard, gave it everything. It’s just a tough loss.
“I feel like it’s just bad luck that happens to follow us around.”
Northeastern State’s Carina Martinez scored the winning goal on a free kick with 3:20 remaining. The goal followed a St. Mary’s yellow card.
For the Rattlers (1-3), the moment negated a performance in which they had seemingly controlled to that point. St. Mary’s outshot Northeastern State 14-11, including nine shots on goal.
With 11 minutes remaining, St. Mary’s drew Northeastern State goaltender Deb Hill out of the box but had its shot blocked. Junior midfielder Emilie Snelson (Fairview, Texas) then rebounded the ball and got off a shot, but it sailed over the crossbar.
Following Northeastern State’s go-ahead goal, the Rattlers had another look, with Gentry (Plano, Texas) firing a shot that the goalkeeper stopped near the left post.
With the Rattlers set to hit the road next week, Hernandez said they’ll just have to work harder to ensure a different result next week.
“Just blood, sweat and tears,” she said. “Obviously, I gave them all today, and we still didn’t get the win. We’ve just got to keep working harder.”