ADA, Okla. – The St. Mary’s women’s soccer team endured its first defeat of the season, but fought until the end in a 4-2 loss to East Central on Friday.

In her first start of the season, freshman Kaitie Kasperitis (Corpus Christi, Texas) needed only three minutes to score a goal against East Central (4-1) to start off the offensive strike in the first half, but it was offset by the hat trick registered by Tigers star Kourtney Holleman.

Kasperitis has scored in three out of her four games as a new Rattler, with her first career goal coming in her first 20 seconds on the field in the season opener. Kasperitis was assisted by Amanda Cardoza (So., El Paso, Texas), who also made assist in that season-opening victory against Houston-Victoria.

East Central responded 10 minutes later with Taylor Graves’ clip shot over Mari Edwards (Jr., Apex, N.C) from 20 yards, making the score 1-1.

Leah Snelson (So., Dallas) brought the Rattlers back in the lead toward the end of the first half with an unassisted goal to the upper left corner, bringing her season goal total to two and her shots-on-goal total to nine with three against East Central.

But the Tigers rebounded, closing the gap 15 seconds before the first half finished with a goal by Holleman to tie the game at 2-2.

The Rattlers weren’t done seeing East Central’s Holleman. Holleman scored her second goal halfway through the second half, and then netted another four minutes later, making the final mark on the scoreboard at 4-2.

Edwards defended the Rattlers’ net well with six saves, while the Rattlers were busy on the other end making seven shots on goal – one apiece by Leia Kirch (Jr., Carrollton, Texas) and Carolyn Martin (Jr., San Antonio), two by Kasperitis and three from Snelson.

Although the Rattlers faced their first loss tonight, they’re still sitting pretty for the start of Heartland Conference competition with a 2-1-1 mark.

The Rattlers take on Southwestern Oklahoma State at 12 p.m. Sunday in Weatherford, Okla., with the hopes of raising their wins total to three before their first conference game on Tuesday.

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