Lauren Crenshaw (88’) converted a penalty kick while Alyssa Palacios recorded six saves to highlight the action for the UTEP soccer team in an entertaining 2-1 setback in an exhibition game loss vs. Pacific 12 power Arizona at a steamy University Field Sunday afternoon.
The Wildcats received goals from Amanda Porter (31’) and Cali Crisler (79’) in order to get just enough offense to get past the Miners.
“Well we learned a lot,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We have a real young team. We played one of the top teams in the country. We learned a lot from the game, got some real good experience. That will help prepare us for Friday (NM State) when it really counts. We got better as the game went on and got a lot of experience from young players who hadn’t played at this level. The defense was fairly good too.”
Shots (19-3) and corner kicks (4-1) favored the visitors but the Miners had much better possession in the second half. Plus over the 45 minutes the Orange and Blue accounted for the lone corner kick of the period and shots on goal stood 2-1 in favor of UA.
Cross did a good job of getting lots of playing time across the board, with 19 Miners earning time on the pitch.
UTEP will begin the season in earnest by venturing to Las Cruces to lock up with NM State (Aug. 18) in the First Light Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10. It is the first time since 2012 that UTEP will christen the campaign on the road.
UTEP’s home opener comes against Abilene Christian (Aug. 20) at 1 p.m. It will be the “Camper Reunion” game, with Miner soccer academy members getting in free. There will also be posters given away, prize packs, autographed gear and mini soccer balls.
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