San Antonio – Because of a snafu involving their payment of dues, the Midwestern State University Mustangs came to St. Mary’s University on Sunday as just another unranked team.
Make no mistake, though – this wasn’t like any other team the Rattlers had faced.
Midwestern State was ranked No. 2 in the nation two weeks ago and appeared in line to earn the top ranking this past week prior to encountering the error with their payment of dues.
That is why after suffering a hard-fought 2-1 loss at St. Mary’s Soccer Field, the Rattlers looked like anything but a defeated team. They lined up near the far end of the field, applauded their fans and generally looked please following the spirited effort they had given.
A late goal from Eduardo Serrano (Fr., San Antonio) cut a 2-0 deficit in half with nearly 13 minutes remaining, but the ferocious rally wasn’t enough for the Rattlers (2-6).
“We had a lot of intensity today,” Joseph Diaz (Sr., San Antonio) said. “That’s why we don’t feel too bad about this loss.”
The Mustangs (8-0) entered having outscored their opponents 26-2 over seven contests. They flashed their offensive proficiency early, but a terrific performance from Rattlers goalkeeper Patrick Kasperitis (So., Corpus Christi, Texas) helped keep the deficit at 1-0 at the half.
He had three diving stops and punched away another strike en route to recording seven saves.
While Midwestern State stymied the Rattlers’ offense for most of the game, outshooting St. Mary’s 13-1 through the first 70 minutes, St. Mary’s caught fire down the stretch.
Serrano struck for just the third goal yielded by the Mustangs this year, and the Rattlers got off three other shots in the final 12 minutes to keep Midwestern State on the edge of its seat. But St. Mary’s attempted rally couldn’t net the tying goal.
The Rattlers will now hit the road for their next three games before returning home on Oct. 24.