San Antonio – St. Mary’s women’s soccer was inches away from being on the brink of taking one of the nation’s leading teams to overtime Thursday afternoon.

Trailing by one goal, Ronika Cavazos broke away from the No. 3-ranked St. Edward’s defense, but her shot carried just wide of the net in the 80th minute. Moments later, the Hilltoppers found the back of the net once more, leading the way to a 3-1 victory at the Northside ISD Soccer Field.

St. Edward’s improved to 10-1 and 4-1 in Heartland Conference play, while dropping the Lady Rattlers to 6-5 and 1-4 in league play. The Lady Rattlers trail Newman by a half-game for fourth place as the race for the Heartland Tournament begins to head into the stretch run. Only the top four teams in the standings will advance to the tournament.

St. Mary’s appeared poised to announce it was strongly among those teams Thursday, threatening to tie the game at 2-2. Kaitie Kasperitis (So., Corpus Christi, Texas) got the Rattlers on the board in the 77th minute on a penalty kick, and they nearly added to that with Cavazos’ look.

But it wasn’t meant to be, as Hilltopper Rachel Murray connected in the 82nd minute to close the door on St. Mary’s. St. Edward’s outshot St. Mary’s 12-4 in the “Battle of the Saints” showdown.

St. Mary’s keeper Alyssa Taramona (Fr., Forney, Texas) collected three saves for the Rattlers, who will return to the field Saturday to face Dallas Baptist at 12 p.m. at the same site.

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