San Antonio – St. Mary’s University midfielder Aaron Stares used the word “dominate” to describe the Rattlers’ performance Sunday, and the sophomore from Swindon, England, wasn’t far off.
St. Mary’s outshot Northeastern State University 28-11, including getting 10 more shots on goal than their opponent, a sign of the kind of aggressiveness that has fast become one of the Rattlers’ trademarks.
Only on this day, St. Mary’s dominance didn’t equate to victory. Northeastern State held on to a 2-1 triumph at St. Mary’s Soccer Field, fighting off a furious rally from the Rattlers after Northeastern State played the final 33 minutes down a man when Jay Mora drew consecutive yellow cards early in the second half.
“If you look at the stats, we’ve dominated every game we’ve played in this season,” said Stares, who scored the Rattlers’ lone goal. “It’s just putting our chances into the net. They had one, two chances all game. They put away their chances. Finishing is something we’ve got to work on.”
Northeastern State jumped to a quick 1-0 lead when Maxime Blanc scored in the ninth minute, an advantage that swelled to 2-0 when Cory Cipollone scored in the 56th minute.
Stares cut the deficit to one with 8:21 remaining, but the timely goal wasn’t enough.
The Rattlers (1-3) produced several other near-goals, including a pair of headers from Adam “Chuy” Muro (So., San Antonio) in the final 10 minutes that narrowly sailed wide.
“The intensity really picked up the last 10 minutes, but we need to come out with high intensity from the start,” Stares said.
“We’ve identified the problem,” he added, noting the Rattlers’ need to finish scoring opportunities. “We know what it is. We’ve just got to go out and do it.”