The UTEP Soccer (6-4-1) team beat rival team NM State Aggies (1-9) 4-1 to win the Battle of I-10 Sunday night at University Field.
Natalie Valentine, Anna Jimmerson, Vic Bohdan and Hayley Vaughan all contributed to Sunday night’s win with a goal each. The sole goal for the Aggies came from a penalty kick taken by Katie Martinez.
“It was good response after a tough loss on Thursday,” said UTEP head coach Kevin Cross. “This was a big win for us especially for it being a rivalry game. The crowd was phenomenal, the American Outlaws came out banging their drums giving the team motivation tonight.”
The Miners wasted no time with Valentine scoring the 10th-fastest goal in program history at the 1:58 minute mark.
The first half was action packed with both teams playing hard and strong. The Miners outshot the Aggies 11-9, but it was a battle between the teams with a total of 14 fouls in the first half. The Miner defense blocked many of the shots taken by NM State.
Bohdan scored her fourth goal (39’) of the season by dribbling past the defenders into the box and putting the ball away.
Shortly after, a hand ball was called inside the Miner box that resulted in a penalty kick for the Aggies.
The third goal for the Miners came just seconds before the end of the first half. Jojo Ngongo chased a ball to the end line. She then passed it back into the box for Vaughan (45’) to tap it into the goal.
The second half was another hard-fought half. The Miners took 10 shots to the Aggies’ six. The UTEP defense was not letting anything get by them. In the 75th minute, Kori Lewis chased down an Aggie forward and made a big tackle inside the box.
Late into the second half, in the 80th minute there was a thrilling moment when Valentine put the ball in the back of the net and the crowd went wild. Unfortunately, the goal was disallowed when the play was called offside. Moments later she was hungry to get that goal back but shot the ball over the net.
Jimmerson put the icing on the cake with a goal of her own in the 88th minute. A UTEP defender cleared the ball over the Aggie defense for Jimmerson to chase down and put it past the keeper.
The Orange and Blue will continue Conference USA play at home against UAB on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at University Field. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling 915-747-5234.
The UTEP volleyball team (3-11, 0-2), fell to Southern Miss (7-8, 1-1) in four sets, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at Memorial gym.
Senior Kylie Baumgartner led the way for the Miners with nine kills and a season-high five total blocks. Macey Austin recorded the most kills for UTEP (10), while Kristen Fritsche added 35 assists to the offensive effort.
In the first set, the Golden Eagles jumped out to a quick start with a 10-6 lead forcing a UTEP timeout. The Miners could not recover from the deficit as the Southern Miss lead ballooned to as much as nine points on its way to a 25-18 set victory.
Baumgartner and Jones got the action started for UTEP with two well-placed kills. USM would respond with a 12-6 run that forced a Miner timeout. UTEP stayed within striking distance, but could not regain the momentum to take back the lead. The Golden Eagles took the set, 25-22.
The Miners raced out to a 15-5 advantage, with Baumgartner and Austin both providing great play at the net. USM attempted to claw their way back into the set, but UTEP and the home crowd closed the door with a kill from Baumgartner, 25-21.
The fourth set proved to be a back and forth affair, with each team responding to one another. The Golden Eagles held a 14-12 lead, midway through the set. USM would then put together a 6-2 run putting them up, 20-14.
UTEP made a last ditch effort to stay alive in the match, but Southern Miss claimed their first conference victory of the season 25-21.
Kylie Baumgartner, is now two block assists away from becoming sixth all time in program history (287)
Baumgartner’s 328 total blocks is now three away from fifth all-time
The Miners will play UTSA on Sept. 30 at 12 p.m. MT for their second home-conference match of the season at Memorial Gym. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids.
For more information about the team day program call the UTEP marketing department at (915) 747-6065
FT. WORTH – The UTEP rifle team registered its best season-opening aggregate (4589) in seven years in a setback at TCU (4708) on Sunday. The Miners finished with 2271 in smallbore and 2318 in air rifle in head coach Austin Litherland’s debut with the Orange and Blue.
Overall it marks the third-highest score in a campaign lidlifter by the by Miners since the current scoring system came into place for the 2004-04 season. UTEP fired an aggregate of 4600 against Columbus State and Nevada on Sept. 24, 2011, while previously tallying a readout of 4597 at Alaska-Fairbanks on Sept. 26, 2008.
“Today’s score was definitely a team effort overall,” Litherland said. “They showed me tremendous progress. In this sport we ask for perfection, and we learned today what we need to adjust to advance towards that perfection.”
Sophomore Jessica Boyce enjoyed a career day across the board to lead the way for the Miners. She established personal highs in smallbore (573), air rifle (589) and aggregate (1162). Boyce’s aggregate marked the fifth-highest total by any shooter on the range Sunday.
Junior Mara Rouse followed with an aggregate of 1146, posting 567 in smallbore and 579 in air rifle. Freshman Morgahn Warner checked in with 566 in smallbore and 573 in air rifle to conclude with an aggregate of 1139. Sophomore Samantha Miller registered her second-highest aggregate (1138) of her career. She finished with a total of 565 in smallbore and 573 in air rifle. Freshman Josephine John fired a 551 in smallbore while posting a readout of 577 in air rifle.
The Miners will be back in action when they play host to Ohio State in their home opener at 8:30 a.m. MT Saturday. UTEP and the Buckeyes will also share the range starting at 8:30 a.m. MT Sunday, Sept. 30.
LAS CRUCES – Freshman Kirsten Prelle defeated Natasha Munday (New Mexico), 6-4, 6-2, to win the singles championship on the UTEP tennis team’s final day of competition at the NM State Aggie Invite Sunday.
It is the first fall flight title by a Miner since 2016 when Raven Bennett also topped the field at the event.
In doubles play the tandem of Prelle/Vanessa Valdez garnered runner-up accolades following a 3-6, 6-4, 10-5, setback in the final vs. Lindsay Harlas/Harsha Challa (NM State).
“Kirsten (Prelle) composed herself after doubles and played with focus and determination,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Kirsten is continually getting better. I’m very proud of her and the rest of the team for an incredibly positive weekend. I know Vanessa (Valdez) and Kirsten (Prelle) learned a lot from this loss (in the finals). The next time they are in this position, I know they will handle it differently.”
Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 doubles win vs. Chloe Gavino/Nadia Justiniano (NM State). Martinez continued her winning ways in singles action, waxing Carolina Torrico (WNMU), 6-0, 6-0.
Nozaki was bested by Clara Rizea, 6-2, 6-0, in the battle for third place. Valdez lost in a close three-set affair, 7-5, 4-6, 10-6, in the consolation final against Bhargavi Kalaga (NM State).
The Miners will be back on the courts when they take part in the San Diego State University Invite from Sept. 28-30.
Royce Caldwell scored the go-ahead touchdown on a long pass play late in the third quarter, and NM State held on for a 27-20 victory over UTEP on Saturday in the Sun Bowl.
On a third-and-five play near midfield, Aggie quarterback Josh Adkins hooked up with Caldwell for the 53-yard score with 2:46 remaining in the period, breaking a 17-17 deadlock.
The Miners (0-4) closed the gap to 24-20 on a 34-yard field goal by Jason Filley with 8:20 to go in the final period.
UTEP held the Aggies (1-4) to a field goal and got the ball back with 3:24 remaining, but Kai Locksley’s desperation pass on fourth and long was intercepted by NMSU’s Austin Perkins to seal the outcome.
“A lot of positives,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “You look at the game and how it played out. The way we ran the football, the way we controlled the line of scrimmage, the way we executed statistically, if you looked at the game we won the statistics but that doesn’t mean anything. You’ve got to win points, and that’s the thing we didn’t do.”
UTEP racked up 64 rushing attempts, its most in a game since 1997, as Quardraiz Wadley picked up his second career 100-yard night with 111 yards on 20 carries.
Locksley added 27 carries for 64 yards as UTEP gained 235 yards on the ground. But the Miners were caught running backwards a little too often, as the Aggies registered eight sacks.
The game got off to a rough start for the Miners as Mitchell Crawford’s punt on the first possession of the game was blocked by the Aggies’ Christian Gibson and returned 19 yards for a TD by Izaiah Lottie.
UTEP responded nicely with a nine-play, 75-yard drive, as Locksley ran into the end zone from one yard out to knot the game at 7.
After the teams exchanged field goals, things took a turn for the worse for UTEP late in the second half. First, driving for the go-ahead score, the Miners coughed up the football inside the red zone. Then, after UTEP’s A.J. Hotchkins sacked Adkins and Jamar Smith recovered his fumble near midfield, Locksley was sacked himself by Cedric Wilcots II, fumbled and Malik Demby returned the miscue 55 yards for a 17-10 NMSU lead.
“Too many mistakes,” Dimel said. “It starts off with a blocked punt to start a game. When you get a punt blocked, I think the percentage of winning, they’ve done surveys on that, I think the chance of winning is 18 percent. We get a punt blocked, and then we had the turnover there in the second quarter, and then the turnover late in the second quarter, that was big too. It took points off the board and gave them points. We gave them 14 points with the blocked punt and the turnover, and took some off the board with the fumble going in. So those obviously were costly mistakes for us.”
The second half began on a high note for the Miners as they forced a three-and-out, the Aggies punted and Locksley connected with Terry Juniel for a 76-yard touchdown pass to tie it up once again at 17.
“I thought the fight was there, and I saw some really positive body language when we tied it up at 17-17,” Dimel said. “I saw that spark that I’d like for our team to continue to develop and have throughout the games, where we can really get to that point where we’re learning how to win football games when they’re close.”
The Miners missed a chance to take their first lead when Filley’s 44-yard field goal was wide right with 4:07 left in the third quarter. A minute and a half later, the Aggies got the lead back for good.
Making his first career start, redshirt freshman Adkins completed 9-of-18 passes for 156 yards for the Aggies. Gibson rushed for 103 yards on 10 carries.
Locksley threw for 194 yards for the Miners, completing 10-of-16 passes.
UTEP piled up 429 yards of offense to NMSU’s 311 and dominated the time of possession line (40:48 to 19:12), but the Miners had three turnovers to the Aggies’ one.
Javahn Fergurson turned in a dominating performance on defense for NMSU with 17 tackles. He was one of three Aggies with double-figure stops as Leon McQuaker and Ron LaForce had 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
Hotchkins led the Miners in tackles for the third time in four games with eight stops.
“I said every week you’ll find improvement in this football team, and tonight they [NMSU] had one of their starters back who has been out all year at the defensive end position,” Dimel said. “They’ve got a good defensive football team and we played pretty well against them offensively. We just need to finish better.”
UTEP will kick off Conference USA play at UTSA next Saturday (Sept. 29) at 5 p.m. MT. The game can be seen on ESPN+.
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
LAS CRUCES – Kirsten Prelle and Vanessa Valdez punched a ticket to the championship round in doubles play while Prelle did so in singles action on a quality second day of competition for the UTEP tennis team at the NM State Aggie Invite Saturday.
“It was a solid showing today in both singles and doubles,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Kirsten (Prelle) and Vanessa (Valdez) were very solid in doubles and singles today. Having a Miner in both the singles and doubles finals shows that the hard work we are putting in at practice is paying off. Regardless of the results we are getting better with every match. I’m very proud of this Miner team.”
Prelle/Valdez ousted Rebecca Keijzerwaard/Bhargavi Kalaga (NM State), 6-3, 7-5, in the semifinals. It marked the duo’s third consecutive win at the event. The tandem will face Lindsay Harlas/Harsha Challa (NM State) in the finals on Sunday.
Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez played well only to fall in a close contest, 6-4, 3-6, 10-3, at the hands of Yadira Rubio/Neus Torregrosa (NM State).
Prelle, a freshman, impressed by sinking senior and the No. 1 player for New Mexico (Ruth Copas), 5-7, 6-3, 10-6. For an encore she took down the No. 1 player from homestanding NM State (Keijzerwaard), 6-2, 6-0, to advance to the finals on Sunday.
Nozaki dispatched Madison Hoelting (UTPB) in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. In the ensuing round she was bounced by Chloe Gavino (NM State), 6-1, 6-1.
Valdez toppled Carolina Torrico (WNMU), 6-2, 6-2. She won by default over Neus Torregrosa (NM State) to reach the finals of the consolations.
Martinez fell to Bhargavi Kalaga (NM State), 6-3, 6-0. She regrouped nicely with a 6-3, 6-2, triumph vs. Sabrina Sanchez Chavez (Mesa Community College).
HOUSTON – The UTEP volleyball team (3-10, 0-1) lost in three sets against Rice (10-4, 1-0) in the first match of conference play in Houston on Friday evening.
Early in the first set the Miners leaned on Briana Bustillos who contributed a service ace and Cheyenne Jones who locked in a kill off an assist from Kristen Fritsche to keep the Owl lead within striking distance at 5-3.
Rice would take control with an 11-3 run that allowed it a comfortable path to victory in the first set, 25-14. Macey Austin, Martine Kragholm and Jones all produced three kills each in the set, with Fritsche distributing the ball notching 11 assists.
It was a historic first couple of points for UTEP in the second set. Senior Kylie Baumgartner added two blocks to her career total (323), which now places her seventh all-time in total blocks in program history.
The Miners were at a two point disadvantage, 8-6, in the early stages of the set. The Owls 4-0 run created separation between the teams, and despite a 3-0 push by the Orange and Blue, Rice took the set, 25-18.
The Miners were within one point, 7-6, when Rice pulled together an 8-0 run capping off an efficient .517 hitting percentage performance for the night. UTEP failed to recover and the Owls took the set, 25-14, and the match in a sweep.
UTEP will host its first match of conference play at Memorial Gym versus Southern Miss (6-7) on Sunday (12 p.m. MT). Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids. For more information about the team day program call the UTEP marketing department at (915) 747-6065.
Kylie Baumgartner notched two block assists for the match moving her career block assist total to 284. She is now five away from becoming sixth all-time in program history
The Miners opened their season against the Texas Tech Red Raiders Friday night with a dominant performance from start to finish, ending in domination as UTEP topped Texas Tech 21-1.
Left winger Austin Simpson led the way for the Miners picking up 7 points on the day, with a hat trick and 4 assists. Goals were not in short supply tonight, as junior defenseman Kevin Duncan (3 G, 1A) and sophomore forward Noah Vanderzwan (3G, 2A) recorded hat tricks tonight.
Freshman Angus Campbell was fantastic between the pipes, in his collegiate debut, although Texas Tech was not given much of a chance to score.
The Miners put on relentless pressure from the beginning of the game and the Red Raiders spent the whole game in their own zone. The Miners outshot the Red Raiders 53-10.
A dominant display from the Miners special teams as well as they scored 8 power play goals and allowed zero goals on the penalty kill. The Miners set a new club record with 21 goals scored at home in a single game.
The Miners are back for game two against Texas Tech, Saturday at 3:30pm.
The UTEP softball team will begin its six-match fall slate at Helen of Troy Softball Complex Sunday with back-to-back contests versus Midland (12 p.m. MT) and NM State (4 p.m. MT).
Prior to the games, the UTEP Softball Alumni Game will be played on Saturday (12 p.m. MT). All games are free for all fans.
The Alumni game will also offer the opportunity to celebrate the induction of Miner legend Camilla Carrera into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame Friday evening. Carrera is the all-time leader in homeruns (61), hits (260), batting average (.401), RBI (197) and a two-time Conference USA Player of the Year.
UTEP fans will be treated to a preview of what to expect from the Miner squad this spring. The pitching duo of senior Kira McKechnie and junior Julia Wright combined for 76 appearances last season, and will look to make strides in the circle for the Orange and Blue as they approach the fall lineup.
Seniors Kacey Duffield and Cortney Smith are the returning homerun getters with five a piece from the 2018 campaign. They will be depended upon to anchor an offense that lost three of its top contributors from last year’s senior class.
The UTEP lineup features nine freshmen, which is the most in the past decade. This added depth will look to get valuable reps during this fall in order to prepare for their inaugural collegiate seasons.
Midland and NM State will play at 2 p.m. MT following the first game of the day on Sunday.
LAS CRUCES – Kirsten Prelle and Vanessa Valdez claimed a pair of doubles matches to highlight play for the UTEP tennis team on the first day of competition at the NM State Aggie Invite.
“We started out the day incredibly positive in the doubles, lots of energy and communication,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “The fact that Kirsten and Vanessa were able to pull out the second match the way that they did was great. They just stepped up and took care of business. We knew we weren’t going to have any easy matches (in singles play). We showed a lot of improvement from last week to this week. I’m very happy with the core of this team. I like the direction that we are going in for sure.”
Action commenced with doubles, with a unique format of best two out of three sets (to six). The change didn’t affect UTEP, which cruised to victories in both of its matches. Prelle/Valdez blanked Brooke MacLay/Sabrina Sanchez-Chavez (Mesa Community College), 6-0, 6-0. On the other court the Orange and Blue’s Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez rolled to a 6-0, 6-3, win vs. Fulgenzi-Roerick (WNMU).
Prelle/Valdez kept things going in round two, knocking off Quinty Janssen/ Clara Rizea (NMSU) by a final score of 7-6, 6-2.
Nozaki/Martinez had a compelling second-round match-up with Yuelin Chen/ Natasha Munday (UNM). It went back-and-forth before the Lobo pair claimed the contest, 4-6, 6-4, (10-3).
Nozaki put together a quality performance in her collegiate singles debut. She blasted Nadia Justiniano (NM State), 6-1, 3-0 (retired).
Valdez squared off with Chen (UNM). She got off to a good start in the opening set but ultimately dropped it, 7-5. Chen secured the match with a 6-1 result in the second set.
Martinez battled but was dispatched by Harsha Challa (NM State), 6-2, 6-2.
UTEP sophomore Vic Bohdan (63′) got on the score sheet but Marshall was able to slip past the Miners, 2-1, in double overtime on Thursday night at University Field.
The Thundering Herd (3-4-2, 1-1) received goals from Marah Abu-tayeh (78′ and 107′) to get past the Miners (5-4-1, 1-1) in a hard-fought double-overtime game.
“We couldn’t finish our chances today and that really hurt us in the end,” UTEP soccer head coach Kevin Cross said. “We can’t lose games at home in overtime and have to change our attitude heading into Sunday’s game against NM State.”
The Miners started the first half defensively sound, only allowing five shots. Only one of those was on target. UTEP took seven shot of its own, forcing Megan Bonelli to make three saves while also earning four corner kicks.
The best chance for the Orange and Blue came in the 24th minute, when April Pate played a ball through to Lauren Crenshaw and her shot from 25-yards out was saved by Bonelli.
Marshall’s starting goalkeeper Bonelli suffered an injury in the 60th minute, requiring freshman Lindsey Langley to make her official debut for the Herd. The Miner offense took advantage of the change when Pate once again played a ball through the defense to find Bohdan. She shot the ball in the top corner, giving the Miners a 1-0 lead.
Abu-tayeh leveled things with a shot from just outside the box that took a deflection off a UTEP defender and barely bounced off the far post to the back of the net.
Senior GK Alyssa Palacios recorded eight saves in the contest, putting her at 380 in her career. She trails Amanda Smith (1996-99), needing 58 saves to tie her at 438 in all-time career saves.
At the end of regulation both teams were evenly matched, putting up identical numbers across the board. UTEP led on corner kicks, 5-2, while Marshall outshot the Miners, 14-13.
The Thundering Herd applied tough pressure to begin the first overtime period. Palacios recorded three saves in the opening four minutes. The Miners’ best chance came off a corner kick in the 94th minute, when Nicole Pugsley was able to connect on a header but Langley made the save.
Abu-tayeh found her second goal of the night off of a rebound from her sister, Farah Abu-tayeh, lifting Marshall to its third win on the season.
UTEP soccer will return to action on Sunday at 6 p.m. MT to take on NM State in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 at University Field. Sunday will feature a White Out promotion.
Fans wearing white get $2 tickets. FirstLight Federal Credit Union fans will be given out to the first 200 in attendance.
After what seemed like an extraordinarily long and hot summer, the wait is finally over and UTEP Hockey is back.
The puck drops on the 2018-19 season this Friday, as the Miners will begin the season with a pair of non-conference games against Texas Tech.
Start time for Game 1 on September 21 is at 7pm, with Game 2 slated for Saturday at 3:30pm.
This weekend will be the fourth consecutive season that the Red Raiders meet the Miners at center ice. Friday marks the 10th time both teams have met.
Dating back to the 2015-16 season, overall the Miners and Red Raiders are 7-1 (5-1 at home, 2-0 on the road). Without including the Miners 7-1 win against Texas Tech in the semi-final round of the TCHC Playoffs in 2017.
Last season, UTEP traveled to Odessa winning Game 1, 6-3, before coming back in overtime the next morning to close out the series, 4-3, with a goal scored by Jorge Duenas.
The Miners add ten new players to their roster this season. Including former Rhinos Jake Kopinski, Austin Simpson, Jayden Ritchie, Carlo Wittor and Angus Campbell. Leading scorer, Dominik Taras will not be on the bench for the Miners this weekend but is expected to return later in the season.
Juniors’ Kevin Duncan, Jorge Duenas, Matt Sanca and Jon Sanca return for their third season in a Miner jersey. Last season, Matt Sanca helped lead the team with 42 points (14G, 28A). Forward Noah Vanderzwan returns for his sophomore year with the Miners following an explosive first season with 18 goals last season.
Quick Miner Facts
Defenseman Chris Roosmalen has returned and will serve as assistant coach this season.
Coach Herman will begin his 4th season as Miner head coach.
UTEP finished last season in 3rd place at the TCHC Playoff Tournament.
The UTEP rifle team will begin its 2018-19 season when it competes at TCU Sunday. It is the first of 13 matches (including tri-angular meets) on the fall portion of the slate, while also marking the start of the Austin Litherland era.
The Miners feature a seven-member squad, with four returnees (Jessica Boyce-sophomore, Samantha Miller-sophomore, Maranda Nelson-senior and Mara Rouse-junior) and a trio of freshmen (Josephine John, Morgahn Warner and Jennie Windle).
“I’ve pushed these girls for the last three weeks,” Litherland said. “They have shown me how hard workers they are and how dedicated they are. I’ve seen improvements to their scores, and the team dynamic is really good. We’re excited to go shoot against TCU this weekend.”
Boyce shot both disciplines in all 12 matches for the Miners last year, ranking second on the team in average for air rifle (581) while sharing second in aggregate (1144). Miller posted averages of 553 in smallbore and 572 in air rifle for an aggregate average of 1125 as a freshman.
Nelson tied for third on the team in air rifle average (576) in 2017-18 while Rouse rated third on the unit in average for both smallbore (565) and aggregate (1149).
John placed eighth nationally at the 2017 Junior Olympics in Camp Perry, Ohio. Warner has competed regionally and nationally in USA shooting, NRA and CMP competitions and helped her squad take first place at the 2018 Washington State Outdoor Smallbore Championships. Windle began shooting competitively in high school, and helped her high school team qualify for Army Nationals in Anniston, Alabama, for three consecutive campaigns.