MURFREESBORO, Tn. – The UTEP soccer team dug itself a big hole early and could never get on track in an eventual 6-1 loss at Middle Tennessee Sunday afternoon.
The Miners (7-3-3, 2-1-1 C-USA), who had yielded only 12 goals in 12 games, had their four-match unbeaten streak snapped in the process.
The Blue Raiders (5-6-1, 2-1-1 C-USA) received goals from Amber Hoot (8′), Hannah Tillett (10′), Claire Ramet (12′), Peyton DePriest (19′), Sam DeBien (22′) and DePriest (55′). Lilly Marquez (81′) scored with an acrobatic shot to bury a bouncing ball for the Miners’ tally and her first career goal.
It was a physical contest with 43 total fouls (UTEP-21, MT-22) and seven yellow cards (UTEP-four, MT-three).
“Today wasn’t the result we wanted, but I’m proud of the second-half effort,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “We have a lot to learn from this weekend’s trip. The character of our team won’t be defined by the times we fall, but instead how we rise.”
UTEP pressured early, with Jojo Ngongo using a back heel to spring Danielle Carreon. Her shot sailed just wide in the fourth minute. Middle Tennessee then got things going, coming alive for three goals in a span of four minutes.
It started with Hoot’s service off a corner kick having enough pace to deflect off a header clearance attempt and still end up in the back of the net in the eighth minute. MT was then awarded a penalty kick after a handball in the box, which Hannah Tillett converted in the 10th minute. Off a free kick Hoot got it to Ramet, who bested Emily Parrott in the 12th minute.
The Blue Raiders made it 4-0 after a giveaway in the Miners’ zone sent DePriest in alone. She finished the chance in the 19th minute. Three minutes later a cross by Maddi Falter was put away by DeBien.
Parrott turned away Casey Riemer in the 39th minute, and then UTEP went on the offensive. The Miners earned a corner kick, but they couldn’t capitalize.
Middle Tennessee scored its second goal on a penalty kick early into the second half, with DePriest finishing the chance. The Miners went down and earned a pair of corner kicks after conceding the tally, but they were unable to get anything out of them.
UTEP continued to play hard as the half wore on, eventually breaking through for a goal in the 81st minute. A ball was played to the middle of the box where an athletic finish by Marquez got the Miners on the board.
UTEP will look to start a new unbeaten streak when it plays host to WKU at 7 p.m. MT Thursday.
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.