The UTEP soccer team (3-5-2, 2-2-1 C-USA) will take to the pitch Thursday to battle first-place Rice (9-2, 4-1) with a Conference USA Tournament bid on the line for the Miners.
“We are looking forward to the game Thursday night,” interim head coach Stewart Givens said. “We control our own fate for the C-USA tournament, and that’s what we are focused on. Control what we can control and do our best to play our game and play our way. I’m confident that our girls are up to the task.”
Eight teams will qualify for the league’s pinnacle event (April 13-17), with the top four finishers from each division comprising the field. The Miners currently sit in fourth place in the West Division, one point ahead of UAB.
UTEP can clinch a spot for the tournament for the second straight year with a win against the Owls. The Miners can also punch their ticket if LA Tech defeats or ties UAB.
UTEP will be playing for the third time in the seven days when it challenges the Owls on Thursday at 6 p.m. (MDT). The Miners posted a hard-fought tie against North Texas on April 2 before being clipped at UTSA on April 5.
Rice has a high-octane offense that produces 2.5 goals per game. Mikala Furuto (five goals), Delaney Schultz (four goals) and Madison Kent (four goals) lead the charge, but five other players have multiple tallies. Haley Kostyshyn has done her damage with passing, piling up eight assists on the season.
Rice is riding a five-game winning streak, including posting four consecutive shutouts. The Owls have outscored the opposition, 12-2, during the surge and 27-9 overall on the season.
For complete coverage of UTEP soccer, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoccer (Twitter),@UTEPMinersSoccer (Instagram) and on Facebook or click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.