SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Junior Bri Barreiro scored her third goal of the year, off a brilliant feed from Angela Cutaia, and the defense did the rest in a 1-0 road vanquishing of UTSA Friday evening. The Miners (9-4-2, 2-1-2 Conference USA) extend their unbeaten streak to three (1-0-2) while also remaining perfect all time (4-0-1) against the Roadrunners (1-11-1, 1-4-0 Conference USA).
Freshman GK Alyssa Palacios continued her stellar play by making seven saves for the clean sheet, including five stops in the second frame. She now has five shutouts on the year, which ties as the fourth most in a single season in program history. UTSA held a slight edge in shots (12-10) and shots on goal (7-4) but the efforts by Palacios and the rest of the Miners made those factors moot.
It was a physical contest, with 19 fouls against the Miners and 15 going against the homestanding Roadrunners. UTEP was issued three yellow cards and a red card, forcing it to play the final two minutes and 24 seconds of the contest short-handed. UTSA, meanwhile, was tagged with a pair of yellow cards.
The victory moved the Orange and Blue to 5-2-0 on the road, including 2-1-0 in league play.
“This was a very hard-fought win tonight,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “It was one of the most physical games we have played in, as rivalry games usually are. We had to give everything we had to win tonight against a highly-motivated UTSA squad.”
UTEP asserted itself well early on, creating a look for Cutaia. She laced a shot but it whistled high just 44 seconds into the contest. The Miners continued to methodically probe the UTSA defense as the half continued. Jeanna Mullen did well to find space in the box to work with but her shot was blocked at 11:49. A promising chance on a corner kick in the 21st minute was wiped away as result of a foul against the Orange and Blue.
The pressure overwhelmed UTSA less than two minutes later. Cutaia streaked up the left wing and lofted a ball into the box to a cutting Barreiro. The junior, who had timed the run perfectly, hammered the header home past the helpless UTSA GK.
The Roadrunners finally got their offense on track late in the stanza, thanks mainly to Sam Batley. Palacios was up to the task, though, turning away a shot at 38:23 and 44:09. The second stop was particularly strong, as she pushed it wide with a dive to force a corner kick. The Miners’ stop troops defended it well.
It was a desperate UTSA squad that took to the pitch in the second stanza. The Roadrunners sent players forward in waves, but they could not find a way to breach the wall in the form of Palacios. She came up with a quintet of stops in the frame, including a couple of point-blank tries.
UTEP will look to continue its winning ways when it plays at Louisiana Tech at 6 p.m. MT on Oct. 16. The Miners will then wrap up the road portion of their C-USA slate against Southern Miss at 12 p.m. on Oct. 18.
Author: UTEP Athletics