San Antonio – The rivalry between the St. Mary’s and St. Edward’s men’s soccer teams remains intact after a hard-hitting, head-on-battle that ended with St. Mary’s on top 3-1 in its second win of the season.

Twenty-nine seconds into the game, the scoring action for the Rattlers got started with Adam “Chuy” Muro (Jr., San Antonio) netting a goal in his only shot of the game. Senior Michael Hasbach (Colleyville, Texas) connected in the 29th minute for his first goal of the season, setting in motion the Rattlers’ (2-4-0) 2-0 lead over the Hilltoppers (3-3) before the half.

However, it wouldn’t be a rivalry without a battle.

The second half was charged with aggressiveness and scrambles on the field, leading to four yellow cards, a pair for each team. The Hilltoppers (2-1 in Heartland Conference play) answered shortly after halftime with a skilled header by JR Ellis, closing in on the Rattlers (1-2 in conference) at 2-1.

Close calls threatened to tie the game with St. Edward’s five shots on goal, but Patrick Kasperitis (RS-So., Corpus Christi, Texas) moved quickly on his feet with four saves that kept the Rattlers on top of the Hilltoppers.

“We just battled,” said the quick-hitter Muro, whose goal was assisted by Mark Mendoza (Fr., Converse, Texas), his first of the season. “We didn’t care about getting hurt. We had Carrasco [go down]. Every 50-50 ball, we won. It was nice to battle.”

Muro’s recollection of the intensity of the game centered on his teammate Andrew Carrasco (Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas) going down in the second half in an apparent elbow injury. Carrasco was treated on scene by EMTs and returned to his team in heavy wrapping, but did not return to the field.

The Rattlers kept their intensity despite losing their starter Carrasco, as Eduardo Serrano (So., Dallas) netted his third goal of the season with a cross pass to the left assisted by Anthony Bustos (Jr., Helotes, Texas) with 12 minutes of game play left. Serrano’s goal closed out the chance for St. Edward’s to close the gap on the Rattlers and ensured St. Mary’s first Heartland Conference win.

The win was certainly sweet for Hasbach, who battled the Hilltoppers several times in his four-year Rattler career.

“St. Edward’s is probably my personal favorite rivalry between St. Edward’s and Incarnate Word,” Hasbach said. “When I came here I really wanted to put it to St. Edward’s every time.”

Hasbach and the Rattlers will get their other rivalry match this Sunday against Incarnate Word at 12 p.m. at Northside ISD Soccer Field.

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