AUSTIN, Texas – The Rattlers nearly pulled an upset on a national level against rival St. Edward’s University, falling one goal short in claiming victory in a 2-1 defeat Thursday.

The No. 5-ranked Hilltoppers (16-1, 8-1 in conference) won by just one goal over the Rattlers (9-8, 3-6 in conference), making St. Mary’s just the second Heartland Conference team to come within a goal of the red-hot Toppers.

The Rattlers’ gallant effort against the league’s No.1 team was maximized by St. Mary’s being the first to score in the game.

Leah Snelson (Jr., Dallas) tallied her ninth goal on the season in Thursday’s game, being the key that held the game in the Rattlers’ favor until the 54th minute mark. Snelson’s ninth goal on the season extended her scoring streak to three games. Snelson was assisted by the Rattlers’ assists leader, Leia Kirch (Sr., Carrollton, Texas), who recorded her sixth assist on the season after finding Snelson by a cross through the box to which Snelson connected.

The Hilltoppers tied and gained the lead through the work of one, Mikayla Engel, who recorded her 12th and 13th goals on the season in St. Edward’s 2-1 victory.

The work of the Rattlers’ first and second leading goal-scorers, Snelson and Kirch, who has eight so far this season, made up St. Mary’s total shots Thursday. Snelson had two shots and Kirch finished with one.

The Lady Rattlers have one more regular-season game left that will give them a definitive answer on whether St. Mary’s will advance to the Heartland Conference Tournament for the second straight year. The Lady Rattlers lead Newman by one game in the win column with just that one game left in the regular season.

The Rattlers will face the No. 2 seed in the league, Dallas Baptist, for the final matchup against Saturday in Dallas at Noon.

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