Lauren Crenshaw | Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
LAS CRUCES, N.M.- Senior Lauren Crenshaw (107′) scored with a little more than three minutes to play in the contest to lift UTEP to a 2-1 double-overtime win at NM State Thursday afternoon.
The Miners (4-1-2) have now won three straight games while also extending their unbeaten streak to five (4-0-1).
“I’m just really excited and happy for the girls,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “One of our principles is grit, and they found a way to win this game.”
The Aggies (1-3-2) got on the board off a penalty kick by Shea O’Connor (20′) but UTEP would not wilt. It found the equalizer in the 75th minute on a goal by Jojo Ngongo, with Emerson Kidd and Adrianna Jimmerson being credited with assists on the play.
The Miners held a 23-12 advantage in shots, including 7-3 advantage for shots on goal. Freshman GK Emily Parrott was credited with two saves, with the lone blemish coming on the PK.
Tessa Carlin had a great look in fourth minute but her shot was gobbled up by Dmitri Fong. A minute later NM State was on the offensive where Parrott turned away the chance by Hannah Leitner.
Crenshaw fired one from distance that forced a leaping save by Fong in the 13th minute.
A handball in the box gave NM State a penalty kick in the 20th minute. O’Connor converted the golden opportunity past Parrott. UTEP controlled play over the final 25 minutes of the period, accounting for four of the five shots and the only corner in the stretch.
UTEP came out with good energy in the second half, generating a pair of shots in the first four minutes. It also had a corner kick in the 52nd minute, but couldn’t convert.
Kam Fisher deftly moved past a defender in the 67th minute, but her shot whistled just wide. UTEP’s persistent pressure paid dividends in the 75th minute. Kidd played a ball ahead to Jimmerson, who sent it to a streaking Ngongo. The sophomore one-timed the shot into the left corner of the goal past a diving Fong.
Danielle Carreon forced Fong to make a save two minutes later, and then again in the 86th minute. Overall UTEP outshot NM State, 12-2, in the second half.
The Orange and Blue created the first opportunity of the overtime period with a spin-around shot from Tessa Carlin being blocked. The Aggies generated three shots in the frame, two of which were blocked. The other was wide of the net.
UTEP picked up its intensity in the second overtime stanza, with most of the action being contested in NM State’s portion of the field. The golden goal came with about three minutes remaining. UTEP was in possession deep in NM State territory when a bouncing ball came to Crenshaw. She blasted a hard shot that deflected off a defender but still had enough juice on it to end up in the back of the net for her team-leading third goal of the season.
UTEP will look to keep things rolling when it plays at Utah Valley at 7 p.m. MT Saturday.
For complete coverage of UTEP soccer, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoccer (Twitter), @UTEPMinersSoccer (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.