Seniors Danielle Carreon (24’) and Lauren Crenshaw (76’) each found the back of the net to help the UTEP soccer team battle to a 2-2 draw against Wyoming in the season opener for both teams at University Field Thursday evening.
“There’s a lot to build on from tonight,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “We just came back and found the back of the net twice. I can’t be more proud of those types of things. They responded really well.”
The Cowgirls (0-0-1) jumped out to respective leads of 1-0 and 2-1 behind goals from Jami Tatum (23’) and Indianna Asimus (76’) but both times the Miners (0-0-1) countered. Freshman Emily Parrott registered four saves, including two in double overtime, to secure a quality result in her collegiate debut.
The match was delayed more than an hour due to lightning in the area, but once it got going the youth-laden Orange and Blue played stride for stride with a Wyoming squad that earned a share of the Mountain West regular-season crown a year ago.
Parrott was called upon for the first time of her career in the 11th minute, turning away a soft header from Asimus. Crenshaw got a great look in the 16th minute, unleashing a blast that whistled just wide of the frame.
The visitors took advantage of a miscommunication on a pass along the back line, leading to Tatum smacking the shot past Parrott in the 23rd minute. The Miners regrouped immediately, finding the equalizer 80 seconds later. Tessa Carlin played the ball to the back post to a cutting Carreon, who hammered home the header.
Carreon was in search for her second goal of the game early in the second stanza, but she was turned away on a blast from outside the box by Hannah Lee. The Miners’ defense came up big with a blocked shot by Emerson Kidd on a rocket from Tori Parker in the 69th minute.
Carreon was knocking on the door again in the 75th minute, eliciting a diving stop by Lee. The Cowgirls then raced up the pitch, earning a free kick from just outside the box. Asimus snuck the ball around the wall and past Parrott to put the Cowgirls back ahead, 2-1. But just like the first half, UTEP countered. This time it was Crenshaw doing the damage. She found some space to work with from the top of the box, rifling it home past a diving Lee.
Parrott came up with a stop early in the OT period, gobbling up the shot from Asimus in the 93rd minute.
UTEP generated its own pressure in the 99th minute. Kam Fisher’s shot was blocked by the defense. The Orange and Blue kept possession, allowing Crenshaw a chance to be the hero. She deftly bent a shot toward upper 90’s country only to have Lee make a leaping save.
Parrott recorded a pair of saves in the second OT stanza while Lee came up with one stop.
UTEP will return to the pitch against Abilene Christian at 1 p.m. Sunday. The #ElPasoStrong initiative will continue. There will also be the “Youth Day” promotion for Sunday’s contest, with a post-game autograph session on the docket. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.