After months of training and waiting, the UTEP soccer team finally kicked off the season with an exhibition match against I-10 rival NM State.
The Aggies topped the Miners, 3-1, on Friday night at University Field. The Miners and Aggies stepped away from two 45-minute halves and played three 30-minute periods.
Despite trailing 3-0, the Miners kept fighting. Junior forward JoJo Ngongo scored the Miners’ lone goal during the third period on an unassisted attempt in front of the net.
“I’m proud of the girls during the last 30 [minutes] going down three goals, then coming back, and fighting your way to get multiple chances,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Kathryn Balogun said. “We finally got a goal to go in when it counted, so that was nice. In the end, that’s something to build on. I think this is a really good opportunity for us to walk away, see the things we did well, and then build on the things we have to improve on.”
Sophomore forward Tessa Carlin and junior forward Kam Fisher each notched a pair of shots, while Carlin came up short on one of her shot attempts on goal.
UTEP totaled 11 shots with four shots on goal. NM State tallied eight shots with seven of them on goal.
Shea O’Conner (15:15), Hannah Leitner (19:53) and Loma McNeese (46:49) each tallied a goal. Leitner also recorded a pair of assists, the first on O’Connor’s goal and the second on McNeese’s. Megan Ormson assisted Leitner on her goal.
The 2021 Spring season will officially commence on Feb. 4 at Arizona State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT. The match will be streamed on the PAC-12 Network. The Miners will then take on Arizona on Feb. 7 with a start time of 1 p.m. MT.
UTEP will host NM State again, this time on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m., to open the home portion of the schedule. The Miners and Aggies will be streamed on CUSA.tv.