San Antonio – The foul differential matched the Rattlers’ goal deficit to Newman on Saturday, 3-1.
Facing their first Heartland Conference opponent other than Texas A&M International University, whom they’ve already played twice, the Rattlers (4-4, 0-3 in conference) played a heated contest with the Jets (3-4, 1-1 in conference) that turned to obvious frustration as the Rattlers had a 15-foul count and one yellow card to the Jets’ six in the 3-1 loss.
Both St. Mary’s and Newman University found the net in the 18th minute Saturday.
Scoring duo Leah Snelson (Jr., Dallas) and Leia Kirch (Sr., Carrollton, Texas) struck again Saturday when a well-dribbled pass from Kirch found Snelson, who was able to snake past defenders and the goalkeeper’s reach to net her fourth goal on the season. But the score was not uneven for very long, as less than 30 seconds later the Jets were able to draw keeper Alyssa Taramona (Fr., Forney, Texas) from out of the net and quickly crossed – a tactic that would be seen again – for Mallory Hurst to have an open shot to square it back to a tie game, 1-1.
St. Mary’s continued to get the flag raised in the second half, outnumbering its fouls to Newman, 8-2, before Hurst connected for the second time on the day after a diving Taramona and sliding defender Annia Olivares (Sr., El Paso, Texas) could not punch the ball out of play 10 minutes into the half. Riding on the momentum of the lead change, the Jets once more were able to inch Taramona to the front of the goalie’s box four minutes later, and another quick pass across the green left an open lane for Megan Hostick to bring the Newman victory to its final score, 3-1.
Still yearning for their first conference victory, the Rattlers began pounding charge after charge to the net, outshooting the Jets 12-3 in the second half alone and forcing the Jets’ keeper to make eight saves on the day. The Rattlers’ 19 shots on the day, nine of which were on goal, were fraught with as much agitation as the foul discrepancy, as Kirch was issued a yellow card to go along with the total of 15 fouls for the game.
But the Rattlers were never giving up, as they continued to find looks as the clock dwindled. The Jets’ keeper denied Snelson’s second goal on the day after her header nearly brought the game within one with 30 seconds left.
Snelson led with five shots on the day, three on goal, while Sam Lara (Fr., San Antonio) had all of her three shots on goal as well. Both of Amy Akins’ (So., El Paso, Texas) shots were on goal and Kirch’s one shot on goal came from four attempts.
After a four-game home stint, the Rattlers will travel to play McMurry University Thursday in Abilene, Texas at 7 p.m.