San Antonio – The St. Mary’s men’s soccer team felt the absence of four of its regular starters in a 4-0 loss Sunday against cross-town rival Incarnate Word.

The No. 8 nationally ranked Cardinals (6-1) began controlling the scoreboard halfway through the first half with a header by Alexander Dietz and with Max Gunderson connecting six minutes later. Shortly before the half closed, Julien Brown-Latham dribbled one in off the ricochet of Rattler goalkeeper Patrick Kasperitis (RS-So., Corpus Christi, Texas), ending the half with the Rattlers at a 3-0 deficit.

The Rattlers held the Cardinals in the second half to only one goal off a penalty kick by Callum Riley and nine saves by Kasperitis.

The injury list for the Rattlers (2-5) started with All-Conference goalkeeper David Schmelzer’s (So., Castroville, Texas) shoulder injury that has sidelined him for the past four games. Andrew Carrasco (Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas) was added to the list on Friday in the victory over St. Edward’s with an elbow injury and Adam “Chuy” Muro (Jr., San Antonio) sat on the Rattler bench today due to a leg injury that also occurred on Friday.

But the Rattlers looked to the injury list as motivation instead of loss.

“It made us want to step up and show them that we can take their place,” said redshirted freshman Roger Trevino (San Antonio). “We love having them, but with them not here we gotta step up and do our part.”

Including Trevino, the starting lineup consisted of seven freshmen. Freshmen Mark Mendoza (Converse, Texas) has taken the opportunity as a chance to gain the confidence of his teammates.

“I really want to prove myself and prove myself to this team that I deserve a start,” he said.

The midfielder has started the last three games for the Rattlers and had an assist against his first look at rival St. Edward’s on Friday.

In his first encounter with the nationally ranked cross-town rival, Mendoza knows his team can take away plenty from the loss against Incarnate Word.

“We weren’t aggressive,” he said. “We just kind of didn’t go in the right way. Next game we’ll definitely be a little more physical.”

Junior Anthony Bustos (San Antonio) had two shots on goal and hopes to connect in the Rattlers next game against Texas-Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas at 4 p.m. Friday.

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