September 11, 2011
San Antonio – Double overtime is becoming an all-too-familiar scene for the St. Mary’s women’s soccer team.
Mirroring last Saturday’s win over Lubbock Christian in double overtime, the Rattlers took a defensive-driven Missouri Southern into extra game play, only this time ending with a stalemate at 1-1 on Sunday.
The Rattlers still hold onto their undefeated start to the season at 2-0-1 with the draw against Missouri Southern (1-5-1).
Still feeling the shimmer of last week’s golden goal and the pride of being named the Heartland Conference Player of the Week, Leia Kirch (Jr., Carrollton, Texas) out-shined Missouri’s defense and scored a goal three minutes into the second half. Getting possession off a bad bounce, Kirch fired into the back of the net for the unassisted strike.
Kirch is playing better than ever – as if she doesn’t have a bulky knee brace – after her ACL tear last season. With this goal, Kirch has already surpassed her total goals from last season with three. Kirch has become a Rattler to watch, having struck a goal in each game played, including the game-winner in double overtime that beat Lubbock Christian last weekend.
But Missouri Southern’s Shannon Kuhn answered back in the 66th minute, creating a 1-1 deadlock that would not be broken.
Defensively, Rattlers goalkeeper Mari Edwards (Jr., Apex, N.C.) didn’t allow another goal, exhibiting her veteran status by keeping the Rattlers alive with seven saves.
Already at a season save total of 12, Edwards doesn’t let many fly by her. She currently holds the No. 2 spot in the St. Mary’s Record Book for career saves at 129.
Even though the Rattlers couldn’t push past Missouri Southern for the win, the draw will again only help them prepare for the fast-approaching conference games.
“We’ve had to adapt to different to styles of play,” said assistant coach Jeremiah Narvaez, comparing this game to the one against Lubbock Christian. “Because we’ve played a group that’s physical and one that’s defensive, when we attack we have to be a little bit more dynamic and less about doing one thing and thinking that’s going to solve all of our problems.”
The ever-improving St. Mary’s women’s soccer team will get its chance to attack this Friday against East Central in Ada, Okla., where the action will kick off at 5 p.m.