San Antonio – With nary an ounce of collegiate experience to her name, Kaitie Kasperitis wasn’t in the game but for 20 seconds when the ball came dribbling her way in Thursday’s season opener.
Responding the only way she knows how when the ball hits her foot, the St. Mary’s freshman player found the back of the net in her debut for the Lady Rattlers’ women’s soccer team.
Kasperitis scored the second of four St. Mary’s goals, setting the tone for a 4-1 rout of Houston-Victoria at Northside ISD Soccer Field, the Rattlers’ temporary home-away-from-home this season as their on-campus field is redone as part of the new Outdoor Sports Complex renovations.
“I was pretty nervous going into the game,” said Kasperitis, a ballyhooed freshman from Corpus Christi, Texas. “But going out there, I just played. I got my first touch and scored.”
Opening up the 2011 season in similar fashion to how they closed the 2010 campaign, the Rattlers (1-0) blitzed Houston-Victoria (1-1) from the onset.
Carolyn Martin (Jr., San Antonio) scored a quick goal on a penalty kick, and Kasperitis quickly followed, breaking away to find the corner of the net on her first collegiate touch.
Also finding the net were Leia Kirch (Jr., Carrollton, Texas), returning from a knee injury that prematurely ended her sophomore season, and Leah Snelson (So., Dallas), a transfer playing in her first game at St. Mary’s.
Goalkeeper Mari Edwards (Jr., Apex, N.C.) started the game and played the first half en route to picking up the victory.
Last season, the Lady Rattlers enjoyed a resurgent year, going 10-6-2 for their first 10-win season since 2006. And they did the damage playing with a freshmen-heavy lineup, making for a squad that remains young, but is suddenly vastly more experienced than a year ago.
St. Mary’s narrowly missed out on making the NCAA Division II South Central Region tournament a year ago, something it hopes to atone for this season.
Thursday showed the Lady Rattlers might just be headed in that direction.
St. Mary’s will get back on the field Saturday, when it hosts Lubbock Christian at 12 p.m. at NISD Soccer Field.