San Antonio – Although the Rattlers were sporting their white home jerseys, it was a constant flash of yellow on the field Thursday. And even a little red.
St. Mary’s (0-3-1, 0-1 in conference) roughed an apparently intense green against not-quite-yet Heartland Conference contender Oklahoma Christian University (3-2) Thursday, being witness to a game that banished seven yellow cards and one red card. The Rattlers only received two of these penalties, but the leeway and the ejection of the Eagles’ goalkeeper did not result in victory as they fell in a 2-0 shutout.
It was a clean contest for the first 15 minutes of the game that resulted in an early Eagle goal, with Domenico De Grazia connecting in the bottom-left corner from close range to make it 1-0. The first yellow card was issued 10 minutes later to Oklahoma Christian, only to have the Rattlers match the penalty with a yellow card on Aaron Stares (Sr., Swindon, England) at the 31-minute mark. A penalty kick brought the Eagles their final goal of the game 15 minutes before half, with Eagle Ricardo Chinchilla capitalizing. Chinchilla’s celebration was cut short, however, as he was issued a yellow card less than a minute later followed by one more yellow card on the Eagles one second before halftime.
Already four yellow cards in, the game did not slow down in the second half.
Scrambling to connect for their first win on the season, the Rattlers outshot the Eagles 17-8 with nine shots on goal to the Eagles’ five. Almost equaling the total shots from the Eagles, the yellow cards continued to make appearances in the second half with the Eagles’ head coach claiming the fifth yellow card on the day followed by Rattler Roger Trevino (RS-So., San Antonio) claiming the sixth two minutes later at the 72-minute mark. The final yellow card was issued to the Eagles seven minutes before the game ended and just before the Rattlers cracked a break.
The Eagles’ keeper, Tim Spencer, who had denied the Rattlers a single goal despite several attempts, granted St. Mary’s a free kick after his red card and ejection with only 15 seconds remaining in the game. An ideal scenario for the Rattlers, the Eagles had lost their only keeper in Spencer and had to send position player Sam Guernsey to protect the net. While St. Mary’s amped itself for the luck of a field-player in the net, Guernsey caused an explosion of cheer after blocking Zach Strater’s (So., Carrollton, Texas) free look to keep it a shutout, 2-0, and win their third straight game.
Just as heavy as the yellow cards flew, so did the shots for the Rattlers. Freshman Jack Wolf (Richardson, Texas) led with six shots, with two shot on goal, while Strater had three of his four shots on goal. Armando Macias (Fr., San Antonio) had two shots on goal while upperclassmen Trevino and Andrew Carrasco (Sr., Corpus Christi, Texas) had one look apiece.
St. Mary’s will continue working for its first win Saturday against Newman University at Northside ISD Field at 2:30 p.m.