ODESSA, Texas – With both competitors seeking their first Heartland Conference victory, the Rattlers won out against the University of Texas-Permian Basin on Saturday, winning 3-1.

The three Rattler goals were spread out across the lineup, with Ashleigh Wells (Jr., Dallas), Kaitie Kasperitis (So., Corpus Christi, Texas) and Leia Kirch (Sr., Carrollton, Texas), who netted a hat trick in her last game, all connecting for St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s (6-4, 1-3 in conference) trumped the Falcons (0-9, 0-4 in conference) around the net, as its shots were double that of the Falcons, 20-8, as well as double the shots on goal, 12-6.

Kasperitis was the first to put a goal for the Rattlers on the scoreboard, with an unassisted strike at the 36th minute. Spurring a goal fury, Wells found the back of the net for her first goal on the season three minutes later. Facing a 2-0 deficit with halftime approaching, the Falcons were able to capitalize with an unassisted goal from Bria Smith-Porter off a rebounded shot at the 41-minute mark.

Unable to claim a shutout, the Rattler defense failed to back down, limiting the Falcons to just three shots in the second half. Paola Ostos (Jr., El Paso, Texas) was able to even up her win-loss record to 2-2 with six saves on the day.

Still gleaming after her first career hat trick against McMurry University on Thursday, Kirch sealed the victory for the Rattlers Saturday with her seventh goal on the season in the 86th minute, assisted by Emilie Snelson (Sr., Fairview, Texas).   

The team’s leading scorer, Kirch, totaled a team-high three shots on goal, followed by Amy Akins (So., El Paso, Texas) with two and Kasperitis and Wells with one apiece.

The victory hopes to remain with the Rattlers until their next contest against rival and defending Heartland Conference champions St. Edward’s Thursday at the Northside ISD Soccer Field at 1 p.m.

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