AUSTIN, Texas — A week ago, the St. Mary’s women’s soccer team took No. 5-ranked St. Edward’s down to the wire in a one-goal loss at the Hilltoppers’ home field.
That left the Lady Rattlers understandably thinking upset as they took on those same Hilltoppers in Thursday’s Heartland Conference Tournament semifinals, which pitted fourth-seeded St. Mary’s at top-seeded St. Edward’s.
But much as was the case a week ago, St. Ed’s found a way to hold on in a tight game, knocking off St. Mary’s 2-0 to end the Rattlers’ season and move on to Saturday’s championship round after sweeping the season's "Battle of the Saints" series 3-0 including the playoff win.
St. Mary’s fought off the Hilltoppers’ attack for the first 20 minutes, but couldn’t fight off Mikayla Engel for much longer than that. Engel netted back-to-back goals less than three minutes apart — her 14th and 15th of the season — to put the Toppers up 2-0 in the 25th minute.
With St. Edward’s dominating the time of possession, outshooting St. Mary’s 11-3 in the first frame, the Rattlers were unable to pose much of a counter attack.
The Lady Rattlers came up with their first corner kick of the game with about 36 minutes remaining in the second half, and Jamey Coronado (Jr., San Antonio) nearly scored moments thereafter. But her rocket shot toward the goal was stuffed, keeping the score at 2-0 in St. Edward’s favor.
The Hilltoppers ended up outshooting the Lady Rattlers 17-5 to advance to play Dallas Baptist Saturday in Austin.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.