San Antonio – Francisco Ramirez-Gaston ran through the line of St. Mary’s University men’s soccer players Sunday, high-fiving his teammates during player introductions.
It was a moment the senior goalkeeper from Lima, Peru had been waiting for all year. And on this, the Rattlers’ “Senior Appreciation Day,” it finally came.
Making the first start of his career, Ramirez-Gaston helped lead a spirited charge against West Texas A&M University, as the Rattlers stormed to an early lead before falling 3-1 at St. Mary’s Soccer Field.
Ramirez-Gaston made seven saves and didn’t allow a goal in one half of work.
“I’ve been practicing since I joined the team (this past spring) to get playing time,” Ramirez-Gaston said. “I really felt a lot of support from all of my teammates. Many of the guys have been talking to me, telling me to keep doing what I’ve been doing. They had a lot of trust in me. That really helped a lot.”
Adam “Chuy” Muro (So., San Antonio) put the Rattlers up 1-0 in the 19th minute, retrieving a rebound and tapping in a goal from about a yard out with the goalkeeper out of position.
But West Texas A&M’s offense caught fire from there, as goals from Alfredo Chavez (63rd minute), Omar Tena (68th minute) and Clark Binning (81st minute) sealed the victory for the Buffs. The final goal came off a header that deflected off the left post, ricocheted off the right post and then went into the net.
St. Mary’s, which was outshot 24-14, fell to 3-12 with the defeat.
In addition to honoring Ramirez-Gaston, seniors Robson Pritchett (McKinney, Texas), Sean Strater (Carrollton, Texas), Joseph Diaz (San Antonio), Daniel Sanguineti (Tucson, Ariz.) and Luis Gonzalez-Jaquez (El Paso, Texas) also were honored at halftime.