Photo by Andres Acosta | El Paso Herald-Post
The UTEP women’s soccer team will travel east for a crucial conference match against WKU on Sunday at noon (MT) kick-off in Bowling Green, Ky.
“Sunday at WKU is a defining match for us,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We let a few games slip away from us, so we must now play well on the road. WKU is a great side that is very well coached and very organized. They play extremely hard and will be tough to beat on their home field. We have had a great week of training and are excited for the match. I believe in this squad.”
Getting To Know WKU
WKU (2-7-2, 0-4) is looking for its first win in conference play. The Lady Toppers head into Sunday’s contest having dropped the last five games, including a 2-0 road loss to Vanderbilt.
Ambere Barnett and Olivia Stanley lead the team with three goals each on the season.
Series History Vs. WKU
The Miners have faced the Lady Toppers twice in the program’s history, with the Miners leading the series 1-0-1.
The last meeting came in 2015, with both teams playing to a draw 1-1 (2ot), at University Field. Carleigh Simmons, Payton Ross and Alyssa Palacios are the only current Miners to have faced WKU in their careers.
Miners In Conference USA
UTEP holds an all-time conference record of 66-58-11. The Miners have dropped their two previous games and are in 10th place in league standings.
The top eight teams during the regular season, as determined by points, will advance to the tournament.
Strong Across The Board
UTEP has demonstrated that it works as a team with 10 players accounting for 22 goals. Lauren Crenshaw leads the team with five goals on the season.
Vic Bohdan follows with four, Anna Jimmerson has netted three, April Pate, Jojo Ngongo and Natalie Valentine all have scored two, while Danielle Carreon, Cayla Payne, Jackie Soto and Hayley Vaughan have contributed to the offensive success.
The Game Plan
The Miners have started their matches defensively strong. They have given up only six goals in the first-half action this year. UTEP has put its attack to the test in the second half, scoring the majority of its goals after the break (12 of 22).
Palacios & The Career Rankings
Senior GK Alyssa Palacios has compiled some staggering numbers during her career in the Sun City. The result has been her stamping her name throughout the UTEP career record book.
The Texas native hold the most career shutouts in program history (21), surpassing Sarah Dilling (2011-14). She enters Sunday’s match currently ranked second in saves (396), save percentage (0.832), third in GK wins (37), GK games started (71), saves per game (5.57), GK minutes played (6,553:25), fourth in GK matches played (71), and fifth for goals against average (1.10).
The Basic Facts
UTEP is in its 23rd season as a program, boasting an all-time record of 253-171-31. The Miners are under the direction of 18th-year head coach Kevin Cross who sports a mark of 211-123-23 in that time frame. He is assisted by two former Miners (Heather Clark and Jessie Pettit).
A Maturing Roster
In 2017 20 of the 27 members of the squad were underclassmen, so it’s only natural that this year’s squad has a bit more experience. In 2018, the Orange and Blue feature a unit where 14 o the 23 individuals are either freshman (seven) or sophomores (seven).
There are four juniors and five seniors who are providing leadership for the still relatively young group.