Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post
El Pasoan Jackie Soto scored twice, including a golden goal, to lift the UTEP soccer team to an exhilarating 2-1 victory over NM State in the “Battle of I-10” at University Field Thursday evening.
The victory improves the Miners to 10-1 all time against the Aggies.
UTEP pressured immediately, with Emerson Kidd firing a chance from just past midfield that forced NM State GK Makenna Gottschalk to make the save. Palmen then was called upon in the eighth minute, making a diving save that led to an Aggie corner.
The Miners cleared away the service, but NM State roared back up the pitch where Chacon put away the chance.
UTEP regrouped and headed back on attack, with a try by Bohdan clanking cruelly off the crossbar. Palmen kept it a one-goal deficit with a stop on a shot by Corey Kizer (23’). UTEP generated two chances down the stretch, but both were turned away by Gottschalk. She tracked the chance by Kidd in the 39th minute while turning away Ayana Noel with five seconds remaining in the stanza.
Fisher appeared to have pulled her squad even in the 61st minute only to have a brilliant stop by Gottschalk keep the ball out of the back of the net. UTEP was unable to capitalize on the ensuing corner kick, one of three it earned in the contest.
It proved to be a moot point with the Miners stringing together a good sequence of soccer to set up Soto from the top of the box. She unleashed a right-footed blast that Gottschalk managed to get her hands on, but the try had enough force that it still tickled the twine. UTEP went in search of the match winner in the waning minutes, but a header from Kidd was errant.
The Miners did get it done in the first overtime period. Bohdan laced a ball into the area that was touched down by Fisher to Soto, who buried it past a helpless Gottschalk.
UTEP will play host to Rice in its C-USA opener at 7 p.m. MT on Sept. 16. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased through the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by going online or in person at 201 Glory Road (Brumbelow Building, UTEP campus) Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Group tickets are also available for $5 (minimum of 10 tickets).
Photo gallery by Ruben R Ramirez, El Paso Herald Post