San Antonio – St. Mary’s junior forward Danny Kelly and the rest of the Rattlers went through their usual pregame routine Thursday, blaring the music from inside their locker room and doling out one fist bump after another in the minutes leading up to their season opener.
The routine itself was old, but the bonding felt new – as did just about everything that transpired over the ensuing hours.
“We knew we had great players, so it was just a matter of everyone cooperating together and working hard to get the win,” said Kelly, who scored the game’s first goal. “We’re expecting big things this year.”
Kelly rebounded a free kick to score the Rattlers’ first goal at the 28:13 mark of the first half. It was a sign of things to come for St. Mary’s (1-0).
Senior midfielder Sean Strater (Carrollton, Texas) and sophomore forward Anthony Bustos (Helotes, Texas) struck late in the half with goals less than two minutes apart to break open a 3-0 lead for the Rattlers. Sophomore defender David Anthony Oliver (San Antonio), a speedy transfer from Houston Baptist, assisted Bustos’ goal.
Meanwhile, St. Mary’s sophomore goalkeeper Patrick Kasperitis (Corpus Christi, Texas) recorded seven saves with one goal allowed to collect his first victory of the season.
The Rattlers attempted 18 shots, including 11 on goal, compared to just 11 shots for Houston-Baptist.
St. Mary’s resumes play at 4 p.m. Saturday, when it hosts Texas A&M International.