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Home | Tag Archives: UTEP Soccer

Tag Archives: UTEP Soccer

Video+Story: Special to the Herald-Post: Raise the Pick – Alyssa Palacios

Not everybody is built to face an object traveling upwards of 50 mph aimed at them repeatedly over 90 minutes.

For Alyssa Palacios, becoming a soccer goalie was an innate function, one that was fused with past experience and family tradition.

“A lot of people were scared of the ball,” Palacios said of why she became a soccer goalie. “It came to me more naturally. I was already kind of catching it when I was younger. Also, my older sister was a goalie first and I wanted to be like my bigger sister. Once I was put at (goalie) I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”

That prowess between the posts allowed Palacios, currently a junior kinesiology major, to earn a Division I scholarship from The University of Texas at El Paso to continue her passion for soccer and earn a college degree.

Palacios wasn’t always just into soccer. For years she also played volleyball and basketball. Once she got to a certain age, her soccer club coach said she needed to commit to one sport.

“I liked soccer the best and I couldn’t stop playing it,” she said.

Part of Palacios’ education while at UTEP has included learning about El Paso and herself.

“I was kind of nervous coming here because it’s a new place and I didn’t really know anyone that well,” Palacios said. “My mom said, ‘Alyssa, you’re going to have 24 friends naturally.’ I feel like the cool part is having the team, the girls.”

After initially being hesitant about attending UTEP, those reservations went away once the Dallas-area native visited the campus and El Paso became a second home to her.

“I didn’t think the campus was going to be as beautiful as it is,” Palacios said of her recruiting visit. “I was here for a Friday night game and that was unreal how much the stands were packed and everybody was so into it. I thought it just looked really fun.”

Her family — especially her extended family — were nervous about her attending UTEP. Now they are unofficial ambassadors for El Paso.

“My parents come to so many of the games and they try to bring different family members, too,” Palacios said. “The family that have come out here love it, too, and they want to come back. My family would say, ’Now that we see it, we love it. We’re comfortable with you being there.’ You just have to see it to understand.”

Palacios has been solid on and off the field, earning the following honors:

  • 2017 Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll
  • 2016 C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll
  • 2016 All C-USA Third Team
  • 2015 All-Freshman C-USA Team

She started 58 straight games throughout her UTEP career before sitting out a couple of games in fall 2017 due to injury.

“Alyssa embodies UTEP soccer,” said UTEP Head Coach Kevin Cross. “She is tough as nails, and she will do anything for UTEP soccer to make a save. She has rewritten the UTEP soccer goalkeeping record book. I am so thankful for her ‘saving’ us so many times.”

Palacios’ plans after graduation aren’t set in stone. She is contemplating taking a year off after graduation to attempt to play soccer professionally overseas as one of her cousins did. She eventually wants to return to the United States to coach or work in sports marketing.

But all that can wait. For now, Palacios is ready to enjoy her senior year, her second home and continue to be thankful for the opportunity a Division I scholarship to UTEP has provided.

“It’s meant everything (to me),” Palacios said of the scholarship. “I just knew if I didn’t go through soccer I wasn’t going to get the full college experience of getting to live in a dorm and the whole campus life. I’ve been able to meet all these people from different places and do different things. I am so grateful I get to go to school and play soccer.”

Raise the Pick: This is part of a series about UTEP student-athletes who share their unique stories and how athletic scholarships have made a difference in their lives. Each of these students reflects on the value of their UTEP experiences and the opportunities they create for the future.

Visit minerathleticclub.com to learn more about the Raise the Pick campaign.

Author: Leonard Martinez – UTEP Communications

Miners Release 2018 Soccer Schedule

Match-ups with rivals New Mexico and NM State in addition to playing 11 home games highlight the 2018 UTEP soccer schedule, as announced by head coach Kevin Cross Tuesday.

It is the second consecutive year that the Miners will battle both the Lobos and Aggies in the same season, something that prior to last season had never occurred. Additionally for the second time in as many seasons UTEP will turn up for the campaign by locking up with Pacific 12 program Arizona (Aug. 11) in an exhibition game, but this time it will be on the road.

“UTEP Soccer is very excited about the 2018 season,” Cross said. “We have been working very hard this spring with our young team, and look forward to showcasing how good we are in the season. We want to be in Old Dominion for the Conference USA Championship in November so that we can make a run at winning a championship. UTEP Soccer is known as having the best fans in Conference USA, and we appreciate the great support!”

UTEP kicks off the season in earnest by playing host to division II program Lubbock Christian (8/17). Following a road match-up at ACU (Aug. 19), the Orange and Blue will be home for four straight contests in the form of Idaho State (Aug. 24), UTRGV (Aug. 26), Grand Canyon (Aug. 31) and Northern Illinois (Sept. 2). The Miners then hit the road to play at I-25 foe New Mexico state (Sept. 7) and at Texas State (Sept. 9).

For the fifth straight year and the sixth time in the past seven seasons, the Miners will open up C-USA action on the road with a tilt at FIU (Sept. 16). The other league road matches will be at WKU (Oct. 7), at LA Tech (Oct. 11), at Southern Miss (Oct. 14) and at UTSA (Oct. 26).

UTEP’s home league opener comes against Marshall (Sept. 20). The Miners will pause C-USA play when they welcome I-10 rival NM State (Sept. 23) to town before stepping back in for home tilts against UAB (Sept. 27) and Middle Tennessee (Sept. 30). The other C-USA contests on the docket for University Field are Charlotte (Oct. 18) and Old Dominion (Oct. 21).

Old Dominion will play host to the 2018 C-USA Championships (Oct. 31-Nov. 4). The top-eight finishers in C-USA play will qualify for the league’s pinnacle event, with the winner staking C-USA’s automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Championships.

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UTEP Soccer Unveils 2018 Signing Class

Six prep standouts have signed national letters of intent and will compete for the UTEP soccer team starting in fall 2018, UTEP head coach Kevin Cross revealed Wednesday.

Chardonnae Harvey, Jojo Ngongo, Ayana Noel and Hayley Vaughan join Analyse Abrams-Malone and Maya Warrior, who enrolled for the spring 2018 semester, to comprise the six-member signing class.

Below are brief write-ups on the newest Miners.

Analyse Abrams-Malone
All-District MVP who broke the Terrell High School record for single-season goals with 78 in 2016-17 … ranked first in Texas and second nationally for goals scored … also tabbed to first-team All-District team … in 2015-16 was the District MVP and first-team All-District honoree as well … in 2014-15 secured the District MVP and first-team All-District accolades … also voted as the All-District Midfielder of the Year … played four years of ECNL soccer with the Dallas Sting … thankful of her parents for being a strong supporter and attending every game and practice … also appreciated the encouragement from Kenny Medina … has dreamed of playing collegiate soccer since the age of five.

Chardonnae Harvey
Three-time All-District honoree, garnering a spot on the first team as a sophomore and junior while landing on the second team as a freshman … earned the recognition while competing with the varsity team for Forney High School … competes with FC Dallas 99’ East at the club level … thankful to God, her grandmother (Pearl Presley), mother (Tamekia Presley), father (Kevin Harvey), Coach Toni and Peter Smith.

Jojo Ngongo
Striker who has played for Portage Trail soccer club and the Bonivital soccer club while competing at the Manitoba Summer games, Western Canada Games and the Canada Games … has also trained with the provincial team … was invited and a part of the regional excel program in Manitoba … named as the Player of the Year at Portage Trail soccer club … would like to recognize Jim Zinko, Jorge Cabral, Chuck Medeiros, Amy Anderson and her mom (Rukiya Lela) for her endless and continued support.

Ayana Noel
Competes with FC Durham Academy under Coach Rocky … while with the Soccer Academy Alliance Canada (SAAC) was 2014 league champions … in 2015 helped squad claim the spring, fall and league title … in the Ontario Women’s Soccer League (OWSL) helped team secure the 2016 U21 Regional Central East crown … received the golden boot award after scoring 22 times during the season … secured the 2017 U21 Provincial Elite Central division championship.

Hayley Vaughan
Past two years has played with Surrey United of the British Columbia Soccer Premier League (BCSPL), leading the team to multiple league wins and a Provincial Cup Championship in 2016 … garnered a silver medal at the 2017 Provincial Cup … previously played for Fraser Valley FC U15, guiding her squad to the Provincial Cup Final and a silver medal … started competing in the BCSPL at the age of 13 … began playing soccer at the age of three on a co-ed team … also serves as the head coach of the junior soccer team at her high school … played lacrosse in the offseason, winning a gold with the national team … thankful of her teammates, coaches, parents (Carrie-Anne and Neil) and especially her litter brother Trevor for supporting and challenging her throughout the years.

Maya Warrior
Competes with Central High School (Keller, Texas) … named the All-District Defender of the Year in her junior campaign after returning from an ACL injury … as a freshman was a second-team All-District honoree … played for the U14, U15, U16 and U16 Dallas Texans ECNL teams while also competing with the U19 Dallas Texans DA team

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UTEP Soccer Lands Two Prep Standouts

High school prep standouts Analyse Abrams-Malone (Terrell High School) and Maya Warrior (Central High School) have signed financial agreements and have enrolled at UTEP.

“We are very excited to have Maya and Analyse join our UTEP Soccer family this semester,” Cross said. “This is a huge opportunity for both of them and for UTEP Soccer to have two incoming players gain a semester of experience with the program before their freshman season begins in the fall. Analyse is a goal scorer and will help us in that category for sure. Maya is a leader of the defense and captained her Dallas Texans DA club this fall. UTEP Soccer is very excited for an excellent spring semester.”

They will compete with the soccer team starting in the fall of 2018, head coach Kevin Cross announced Tuesday.

Below are brief write-ups on Abrams-Malone and Warrior.

Analyse Abrams-Malone
All-District MVP who broke the Terrell High School record for single-season goals with 78 in 2016-17 … ranked first in Texas and second nationally for goals scored … also tabbed to first-team All-District team … in 2015-16 was the District MVP and first-team All-District honoree as well … in 2014-15 secured the District MVP and first-team All-District accolades … also voted as the All-District Midfielder of the Year … played four years of ECNL soccer with the Dallas Sting … thankful of her parents for being a strong supporter and attending every game and practice … also appreciated the encouragement from Kenny Medina … has dreamed of playing collegiate soccer since the age of five.

Maya Warrior
Competes with Central High School (Keller, Texas) … named the All-District Defender of the Year in her junior campaign after returning from an ACL injury … as a freshman was a second-team All-District honoree … played for the U14, U15, U16 and U16 Dallas Texans ECNL teams while also competing with the U19 Dallas Texans DA team.

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UTEP Soccer’s Bohdan, Crenshaw Grab Honors From Conference USA

IRVING, Texas- UTEP freshman forward Vic Bohdan (second team) and sophomore defender Lauren Crenshaw (third team) have been voted as 2017 All-Conference USA performers, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally Bohdan earned placement on the league’s All-Freshman team.

Bohdan becomes the first Miner freshman to garner a spot on an all-conference team since Aleah Davis did so in 2013 and the ninth overall in program history. It is Crenshaw’s first all-league recognition, but she was an all-freshman team member in 2016.

“We are very proud of Vic and Lauren being recognized by the Conference USA coaches and being named to the Conference USA all-conference team,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “This is a huge honor for both of these underclassmen. Both Vic and Lauren were impact players in many games this season, and probably showed up on a lot of team’s scouting reports of us. I do think the best is yet to come for both of these players as they are both going to improve this off season. We have a strong future with these two young players.”

Bohdan shared for the team lead in goals (six) while pacing it in assists (four), points (16), shots (52) and shots on goal (27). She becomes the first Miner freshman in program history to top the squad the three major offensive stat categories (goals, assists and points) for a season. Bohdan also provided two match-winning tallies.

She was the initial UTEP freshman since 2006 with back-to-back multiple goal games when she scored twice against both UIW (9/7) and Stephen F. Austin (9/10). She also found the back of the net at North Texas (10/6) and at UTSA (10/27).

Crenshaw was one of four Miners to start every match of the season. She helped UTEP post four shutouts while holding seven other teams to one goal. She also used her unique skillset to jump into the attack at the opportune time.

She ranked second on the team with three assists while also scoring a trio of goals, including the matchwinner at UTSA (10/27). Crenshaw also tallied goals against New Mexico Highlands (9/13) and vs. Middle Tennessee (10/15).

The Miners have now had at least two all-league honorees for seven straight seasons.

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Crenshaw’s Golden Goal Sends UTEP Past UTSA, 2-1, In Season Finale

SAN ANTONIO – Sophomore Lauren Crenshaw scored a golden goal (109’) to lift the UTEP soccer team to a 2-1 victory at UTSA in the season finale for both squads Friday evening. Vic Bohdan (42’) also scored for the Miners (8-11, 4-6 Conference USA), on a feed from Jeanna Mullen.

The Roadrunners (3-14, 2-8 C-USA) received a goal from Kaja Skare (48’).

Caley Leask (five saves) and Alyssa Palacios (one save) split time in net for the Orange and Blue.

“We finished the season on a high note,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “Lauren Crenshaw made a big time shot. It is a great feeling to end on a win. We are very thankful for our three seniors and all that they have given to UTEP Soccer – G (Jeanna Mullen), KC (Kennadie Chaudhary), and Devyn (Hunley).”

Palacios made a sensational diving stop to simply rob Ellis Patterson from the middle of the box in the eight minute.

The Miners then went on the offensive with Vic Bohdan taking a turnaround shot but it was stopped by UTSA’s GK Michelle Cole in the 10th minute.

UTEP earned a corner kick but UTSA cleared the ball away. The Miners then send it back in but the play was called offside. In the 18th minute UTEP had a great chance when there was a brilliant strike by Jackie Soto that bested Patterson but clanked off the post and stayed out of the goal.

Bohdan utilized a sliding shot to put one on target in the 30th minute but Cole was able to come up with the save.

The Orange and Blue broke through to take the lead in the 42nd minute when Mullen threaded the needle with a pass to a cutting Bohdan. The freshman took the pass in stride and then buried it past Cole for her team-tying sixth goal of the season.

UTSA found the equalizer in the 48th minute when Kaja Skare chipped a shot to the far left post that bested Leask to knot the score, 1-1.

The Roadrunners vied to pull ahead three minutes later but Leask punched the shot by Katieann Lochte away.

UTEP then launched a counter offensive for Jackie Soto but her shot was wide of the frame. Kori Lewis then tried a long-range shot but it was controlled by Cole.

Jeanna Mullen fired a left-footed shot the bounced in on Cole but she came up with the save in the 68th minute.

Leask delivered a save on Patterson in the 82nd minute and then the Miners’ defense blocked a shot in the 90th minute to send the match to overtime.

Leask was called upon in the 92nd minute, making the save on the shot by Channing Machen. Four minutes later she was needed again, this time registering the point-blank save on Machen.

UTEP went on the attack in the 98th minute but Cayla Payne’s shot attempt whistled wide.

Halfway through the second OT period Patterson whistled a shot that hit the crossbar and then the Orange and Blue defense cleared the ball out of harms’ way.

The Miners went back to work offensively with Crenshaw finding the back of the net with just under two minutes to play in the match. She rocketed the shot into the far left corner of the frame.

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H-P Sports In Depth: UTEP Soccer To Conclude 2017 Season At UTSA Friday

The UTEP soccer team (7-11, 3-6 Conference USA) will look to close out the 2017 season on a high note when it plays at UTSA (3-13, 2-7 C-USA) at 6 p.m. MT Friday. The match will serve as the regular-season finale for both squads.

“We are looking forward to finishing off the season on a positive note,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “UTSA has become one of our rivalry games, so we know they will play with lots of energy, especially since the game is in San Antonio. UTSA has a very deep roster and they play very hard. It will be a challenge, and we look forward to the game.”

Going Back In Time
UTEP defeated Marshall, 2-0, on its “Senior Night” on Oct. 19 behind goals from Anna Jimmerson and Aylin Villalobos while freshman Caley Leask recorded four saves in her collegiate debut. The Miners then hit the road where they were edged at Florida Atlantic, 1-0, on Oct. 22 despite having an 8-6 advantage in shots on goal.

Series History Vs. UTSA
UTEP is 5-0-1 all-time against UTSA, including having won the past four meetings. The Miners are 1-0-1 when facing the Roadrunners in San Antonio, site of this year’s match-up. The past two affairs have been decided by one goal, including a 3-2 home UTEP victory on Oct. 14, 2016, last season.

Brief Rundown On The Roadrunners
UTSA (3-13, 2-7 Conference USA) defeated Abilene Christian, 2-1, in its season opener on Aug. 18 before proceeding to drop its final six non-conference contests. The Roadrunners got off to a 1-1 start in C-USA play only to lose their next six in league play. UTSA got back on track, though, by virtue of a 4-2 road victory at FIU last time out on Oct. 22.

The four goals set a season high. Offensively Ellis Patterson (four goals) and Channing Machen (three goals) are the top two scoring threats. Sarah Bayhi (three) paces the team in assists. Michelle Cole has earned the bulk of the playing time in net, recording 56 total saves.

Leask Makes Debut
With an injury to Alyssa Palacios, who had started the first 58 games of her career, UTEP turned to freshman GK Caley Leask to step in at the pressure-packed position. She did an admirable job, turning away all four shots faced to record a shutout in her first career contest in the 2-0 win against Marshall on Oct. 19.

Leask followed that up by registering five saves in a 1-0 setback at Florida Atlantic on Oct. 22. Her save percentage for the two games was a sensational 90.0 percent.

Chaudhary’s Corner
Kennadie Chaudhary is one of three seniors on the squad for the Miners, and she’s made the most of her final go-around with the Orange and Blue. She has scored four goals, which sets a seasonal career high. The most important of those was the game-winning tally with just 59 seconds remaining in regulation at Southern Miss to lift UTEP to a 1-0 triumph in its Conference USA opener on Sept. 17. Making Chaudhary’s offensive exploits even more impressive is the fact her four goals have come on 12 shots on target.

Not Just A Defender
While sophomore Lauren Crenshaw has made her mark on defense in 2017, she’s also used her unique skillset to jump into the attack at the opportune time. The most recent example of that came in the 3-1 setback against Middle Tennessee on Oct 15. Crenshaw picked up a ball in space, headed up the pitch and buried it past a diving keeper for her second goal of the campaign. She also ranks second on the squad in assists (three).

Three-Headed Attack
Freshman Anna Jimmerson (six) freshman Vic Bohdan (five) and senior Kennadie Chaudhary (four) have combined to score 15 of UTEP’s 25 goals on the season. Bohdan also paces the squad in assists (four), points (14), shots (47) and shots on goal (24).

Freshmen Firepower
Freshmen Anna Jimmerson (six) and Vic Bohdan (five) have proven to be the top scoring threats for the Miners in 2017. The last time UTEP had a freshman pace the team in goals scored was 2006 with Tameka Sumter (13). You have to go back to 2004 to find the last time the top-two spots were held by freshmen when Jami Tullius and Cara Nordin each recorded 10 goals.
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Save The Day
Alyssa Palacios has compiled 98 saves (first C-USA/19th nation) in 2017 (6.13 saves/match-first C-USA/27th nation), including matching her career high with 10 saves against both New Mexico on Aug. 27 and Old Dominion on Oct. 1. She started the year fourth place on the career Miner charts but with 341 saves has now climbed into second all-time. She has surpassed both Sarah Dilling (317; 2011-14) and Brittany Poppoff (270; 2004-07). The school record holder is Amanda Smith (438; 1996-99).

Up To The Task
Not only has Alyssa Palacios piled up the saves, she has done so at outstanding percentage. In 2017 Palacios is turning away 81.7 percent (fifth C-USA/89th nation) of shots faced, which has allowed her to continue to currently hold the top spot for that category in the Miners’ record books. For her career Palacios has recorded 341 saves while allowing only 66 goals for a percentage of 83.8 percent.

Start Her Up
Junior GK Alyssa Palacios started the first 16 matches of the season, playing a total of 1478:06 minutes (fourth C-USA/112th nation). That has elevated her to 58 starts since joining UTEP. The effort has vaulted her into third place on the UTEP career charts for starts by a GK. Palacios missed both games last week with an injury.

Shutout City
With three shutouts this year, junior GK Alyssa Palacios has elevated her career total to 18 which pulls her into a tie for third place on the Miner all-time charts. The effort has also put her within striking distance of program-record holder Sarah Dilling (20;2011-14) and her next shutout will break the tie with Brittany Popoff (2004-07) while also moving her past Amanda Smith (18.5; 1996-99).

Third Time’s The Charm
For the third time of her career, Alyssa Palacios has garnered the C-USA Goalkeeper of the Week award. She was named it most recently on Sept. 18 after her dominant performance against Southern Miss (9/17/16) when she made six saves, including a one-vs.-one stop, on the way to notching her second shutout of the year. She was particularly strong in the first half, being called upon to deliver five saves.

Soto Shines Vs. Charlotte
Freshman Jackie Soto stepped up in a big way against Charlotte on Sept. 29, delivering her first career goal and game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory against the then C-USA league leaders. In the 20th minute she stole the ball and headed up the pitch. She then absolutely rocketed it into upper 90’s country past a helpless Charlotte GK.

UTEP Turned It Around
After dropping its first five matches, including four in overtime or double overtime, UTEP turned it around by winning five straight and six of the next seven games to climb all the way back to .500 on the year on two separate occasions. It marked the first time in program history that a team had been at least five games below .500 and managed to get all the way back to even.

All Good Things Must End
UTEP’s five-game winning streak came to a close with a hard-fought 1-0 loss vs. UAB on Sept. 22. The Miners outscored the opposition, 16-2, during the winning streak, which included three shutout victories.

Big Win
UTEP smoked DII program New Mexico Highlands, 8-0, on Sept. 13. It marked the largest shutout victory at the school since an 11-0 conquest of Grambling State in 2006. Additionally the eight goals tied as the eighth most in a single game in program history. Seven different Miners scored in the contest.

Working Overtime
For the first time in program history UTEP went to overtime in four straight contests to start the season. Overall the Miners have played overtime soccer five times in 2017. The five OT games tie as the fifth most on the Miner single-season charts.

Freshmen Power In OT
Redshirt-freshman Cayla Payne hammered home a cross from true freshman Vic Bohdan to lift the Miners to a 2-1 overtime win at Idaho State on Sept. 3. It marked the first time in program history that UTEP had an OT winner where both the goal scorer and individual credited with an assist were both freshmen.

Close Calls
For the third time in program history (2008, 2015) the first four matches of the season were decided by one goal or less. The trend has continued since that point. Overall 11 of the 18 contests, including five in league play, have been of the one-goal variety.

Youth Served
Even though the Miners returned 13 letter winners, including six starters, they are notably young in 2017. Of the 27 student-athletes on the roster, 20 are either freshmen (12) or sophomores (eight). There are only three seniors and four juniors.

Cross Joins Club 200
In his 17th year as the Miners’ head coach Kevin Cross has joined an exclusive club in UTEP Athletics history. At 204-119-23 he is the fifth head coach in Miner sports history to reach 200 career wins at the school (reached it with 2-1 victory vs. Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 10, 2017). Previously Don Haskins (men’s basketball, 719-354), Norm Brandl (volleyball, 355-337), Keitha Adams (women’s basketball, 284-209) and co-head coaches James and Kathleen Rodriguez (softball, 211-325) achieved the feat. Cross also has the fourth-most tenured run by a Miner head coach. He trails Haskins (37 years), Jere Pelletier (women’s golf, 22 years and counting) and Bob Kitchens (track & field, 22 years).

Trailing Only Haskins
Not only has Kevin Cross joined the 200+ win club at UTEP (did so with 2-1 win vs. Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 10, 2017), he has done so in style. His winning percentage stands at 62.5 percent (204-119-23). That figure trails only Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins (men’s basketball) among the 200+ victory UTEP head coach club. Haskins had a 67.0 winning percentage (719-354) in his 37 seasons roaming the sidelines.

The Basic Facts
UTEP is in its 22nd season as a program, boasting an all-time record of 246-165-30. The Miners are under the direction of 17th-year head coach Kevin Cross, who sports a mark of 204-119-23 in that time frame. He is assisted by two former Miners (Heather Clark and Jessie Pettit).

RPI Success
One of the best ways to measure a team’s worth across the board is the RPI, and that’s an area UTEP has thrived in. The Miners have produced a top-100 RPI in five of the eight past seasons and 10 times total under Kevin Cross, including a program-best 31 in 2005. Additionally, the Miners have secured a spot in the NSCAA Central Region top-10 poll in 11 of the past 13 seasons.

Matter Of Consistency
The Miners have averaged 12 wins while appearing in three conference title games and one NCAA tournament (2005, second round) under Kevin Cross. UTEP is one of 12 programs nationwide (325+ programs) to have hit 10+ wins in each year since 2002. Joining the Miners are Boston College, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, North Texas, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Virginia and West Virginia.

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UTEP Edged At Florida Atlantic 1-0

BOCA RATON, Fl.- UTEP played hard and created plenty of chances but couldn’t convert in a 1-0 loss at Florida Atlantic Sunday afternoon. Alex Maxson (76’) scored off a scramble in a corner kick for the Owls (9-7-2, 4-4-1 Conference USA) for the game’s only goal.

The Miners (7-11, 3-6 C-USA) had an 8-6 advantage in shots on goal for the game but couldn’t best FAU GK Jennifer Ocampo. UTEP freshman GK Caley Leask finished with five saves in the match. Both teams earned four corner kicks.

Vic Bohdan paced the Orange and Blue with three shots, including two on target. Lauren Crenshaw also had two shots on goal.

“We played a good game,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We simply did not finish our chances. They won on a corner kick goal that we could not clear out. We had more prime chances to score than they did, but we did not convert unfortunately. We have had many of these close games this season.”

Leask was called upon in the third minute, delivering a save on a long-distant shot by Mary O’Hara.

UTEP then started to get its attack in gear. Kennadie Chaudhary had a header that bounced in on net which was grabbed by FAU GK Ocampo in the seventh minute while two minutes later a heavy shot from Bohdan forced Ocampo to fall to her knees in making the save.

In the 28th minute Bohdan unleashed a wicked blast that required Ocampo to make a leaping save and punch it up and over the frame. UTEP was unable to convert on the ensuing corner kick.

Jackie Soto had a chance late in the first half but Ocampo gobbled it up.

UTEP fought off a pair of corner kicks to start the second half. The Miners then went on the attack, where Crenshaw fired a shot that was fought off by Ocampo in the 52nd minute. Six minutes later Crenshaw fired another one that Ocampos leapt to deny.

In the 65th minute Anna Jimmerson unleashed a rocket that Ocampo could only tip wide of the goal to set up another UTEP corner kick. FAU defended it well and then launched a counter attack which led to a Leask save on a shot by Ashlyn Kitterman.

In the 72nd minute Leask snatched a shot out of the air by Maxson off her shot from a corner kick service. A minute later she denied Madison Caldwell on a longer distance shot. FAU’s sustained pressured paid off with a goal off a scramble from the corner kick. The ball bounced loose in the area before Maxson roofed it over the outstretched arms of Leask.

UTEP regrouped after conceding the goal. Danielle Carreon had a look in the 79th minute but Ocampo was able to deliver the save.

The Miners continued to battle down the stretch but they were unable to generate another chance.

UTEP will conclude its 2017 season when it plays at UTSA at 6 p.m. MT Friday.

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UTEP Blanks Marshall 2-0 On “Senior Night”

Anna Jimmerson (12’) and Aylin Villalobos (70’) both scored and the defense did the rest in a 2-0 UTEP victory over Marshall on “Senior Night” at University Field Thursday evening.

The Miners (7-10, 3-5 Conference USA) outshot the Thundering Herd (5-10, 3-5-1 C-USA), 13-8, including 6-4 in shots on goal. Freshman Caley Leask registered four saves in her collegiate debut for the Orange and Blue while Cayla Payne was credited with an assist on Jimmerson’s goal. The match was delayed more than an hour in the second half due to lightning.

“That was probably the most complete game we’ve had all season,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We didn’t play the best in the first minute and Caley made a big save, but after that we played really well. It’s awesome that we were able to honor the seniors tonight in their last game on University Field. We played the way we needed to at home.”

Leask came flying off her line to cut down the angle, delivering her first career save on a shot by Jordan Sackaris in the second minute of action.

The Miners got on the board in the 12th minute when Payne sent a throw-in to the far corner of the box. It was settled by Jimmerson, who then turned and roofed it.

Jimmerson looked for her second of the night in the 30th minute with a long-range shot but this time Marshall GK Megan Bonelli came up with the save. She leapt and snatched it out of the air at its highest point to keep the score at 1-0.

Early in the second half Leask delivered a fantastic leaping save to punch a shot by Ashley Seltzer up and over the frame. The Miners’ defense then won the ensuing ball on the corner kick.

Jackie Soto had a shot off a corner kick in the 60th minute but it was blocked away by the Marshall defense.

UTEP extended its lead in the 70th minute when Villalobos buried a penalty kick. An hour-plus delay ensued due to lightning but when the match resumed the Orange and Blue played with passion.

Vic Bohdan fired a heavy shot in the 80th minute that was fought off by the Marshall keeper. A minute later Bohdan looked poised to put her side up by a 3-0 margin but the Marshall defense was able to clear the ball off the line.

UTEP will take aim at its second straight win when it plays at Florida Atlantic at 10:30 a.m. MT Thursday.

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UTEP Soccer To Honor Seniors Thursday, Play On Road Sunday

The UTEP soccer team (6-10, 2-5 Conference USA) will lock up with Marshall (5-9, 3-4-1 C-USA) on “Senior Night” at 7 p.m. at University Thursday.

Seniors Kennadie Chaudhary, Devyn Hunley and Jeanna Mullen in a pre-match ceremony so fans are encouraged to arrive early for all of the festivities. The Miners will then wrap up the week by playing at Florida Atlantic (8-7-2, 3-4-1 C-USA) at 10:30 a.m. MT Sunday.

“This is a crucial week for us to qualify for the conference championships,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We had a five-game winning streak earlier this season so we are going to try to start another one this week! The task will not be easy as both opponents are tough. We play Marshall at home on Thursday for our last home game and “Senior Night” honoring our three outstanding seniors. Marshall is very aggressive and physical, and they have a great attack. We then make the trip to Florida to play Florida Atlantic who are a very good soccer team, and also have a great attack. We will be ready, and we look forward to the games.”

Going Back In Time
UTEP posted a season-high 22 shots, including eight on target, while also racking up six corner kicks but it couldn’t convert enough opportunities into goals in a 3-1 loss to Middle Tennessee at University Field on Oct. 15. Lauren Crenshaw tallied her second goal of the campaign for the Orange and Blue.

Series History Vs. Marshall
UTEP is 5-3-2 all-time against Marshall, but the Thundering Herd did successfully defend their home pitch with a 1-0 victory last season. The Miners, though, are 4-0-1 all-time against Marshall when playing in El Paso.

Brief Rundown On The Thundering Herd
Marshall (5-9-1, 3-4-1 C-USA) endured a 2-5 start to the season in non-conference play but it has improved to go 3-4-1 in C-USA action. The Thundering Herd are 3-2-1 over their last six matches, but they did fall at home to Florida Atlantic, 3-0, last time out on Oct. 15.

Jordan Sackaris paces the attack with five goals while four other players have two tallies each. Rene Ross has been the top distributor with three assists, but three others have two helpers to their credit.

Overall Marshall has been outscored, 29-15, including 20-6 during the second half. Megan Bonelli has earned the bulk of time in net, recording 71 saves and a trio of shutouts.

Series History Vs. Florida Atlantic
UTEP is 3-1 all-time against Florida Atlantic, but the Owls did post a 2-0 victory at home last year to secure their first win in the series since joining Conference USA.

Brief Rundown On The Owls
Florida Atlantic (8-7-2, 3-4-1) snapped a two-game losing streak by posting an impressive 3-0 victory Marshall last time out on Oct. 15. Ebba Blomqvist paces a balanced Owls’ attack with five goals but five other players have found the back of the net at least twice. Elisha Holmes and Pernille Velta share the squad lead for assists at four.

FAU has outscored the opposition, 25-20, on the year, including a dominating 16-8 advantage in the first half of contests. Jennifer Ocampo has played every minute of every match in goal, producing 75 saves and five shutouts.

One Final Push
The top-eight teams in Conference USA will qualify for the 2017 C-USA Championships, meaning that the Miners have an opportunity to make a final push during the last three regular-season games to punch their tickets to the league’s pinnacle event.

Currently UTEP sits in 11th place with six points but it could potentially finish with as many as 15 points which would put it in the mix for the top eight.

Taking It One Game At A Time
The old cliché in sports is to “take it one game at a time,” but that mantra rings true for UTEP for the stretch run of 2017. Yes the Miners need three wins in as many matches to have a shot at qualifying for the league championships but in order to have a chance at pulling that off they must first win at home against Marshall Thursday.

Sizing Up The Opposition
The Miners’ three final opponents (vs. Marshall-7 p.m. Thursday), at Florida Atlantic (10:30 a.m. MT Sunday) and at UTSA (6 p.m. MT Oct. 27) have a combined record of 15-28-3 on the year, including 7-14-2 in Conference USA play. UTEP will need a strong effort for the full 90 minutes in each game, and if it receives that, should be able to put itself in a position to potentially win each of the contests.

Bohdan Scores Again
Freshman Vic Bodhan put away her team-high tying fifth goal of the year in the 3-1 setback at North Texas on Oct. 6. Bohdan took possession of the ball in the box, spun and buried the shot past a diving keeper. She shares the team lead for goals with fellow classmate Anna Jimmerson.

Chaudhary’s Corner
Kennadie Chaudhary is one of three seniors on the squad for the Miners, and she’s making the most of her final go-around with the Orange and Blue. She has scored four goals, which sets a seasonal career high. The most important of those was the game-winning tally with just 59 seconds remaining in regulation at Southern Miss to lift UTEP to a 1-0 triumph in its Conference USA opener on Sept. 17. Making Chaudhary’s offensive exploits even more impressive is the fact her four goals have come on 11 shots on target.

Not Just A Defender
While sophomore Lauren Crenshaw has made her mark on defense in 2017, she’s also used her unique skillset to jump into the attack at the opportune time. The most recent example of that came in the 3-1 setback against Middle Tennessee. Crenshaw picked up a ball in space, headed up the pitch and buried it past a diving keeper for her second goal of the campaign. She also ranks second on the squad in assists (three).

Three-Headed Attack
Freshman Anna Jimmerson (five) freshman Vic Bohdan (five) and senior Kennadie Chaudhary (four) have combined to score 14 of UTEP’s 23 goals on the season. Bohdan also paces the squad in assists (four), points (14), shots (41) and shots on goal (20).

Freshmen Firepower
Freshmen Anna Jimmerson (five) and Vic Bohdan (five) have proven to be the top scoring threats for the Miners in 2017. The last time UTEP had a freshman pace the team in goals scored was 2006 with Tameka Sumter (13). You have to go back to 2004 to find the last time the top-two spots were held by freshmen when Jami Tullius and Cara Nordin each recorded 10 goals.
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Save The Day
Alyssa Palacios has compiled 98 saves (first C-USA/ninth nation) in 2017 (6.13 saves/match-first C-USA/27th nation), including matching her career high with 10 saves against both New Mexico on Aug. 27 and Old Dominion on Oct. 1. She started the year fourth place on the career Miner charts but with 341 saves has now climbed into second all-time. She has surpassed both Sarah Dilling (317; 2011-14) and Brittany Poppoff (270; 2004-07). The school record holder is Amanda Smith (438; 1996-99).

Up To The Task
Not only has Alyssa Palacios piled up the saves, she has done so at outstanding percentage. In 2017 Palacios is turning away 81.7 percent (fifth C-USA/90th nation) of shots faced, which has allowed her to continue to currently hold the top spot for that category in the Miners’ record books. For her career Palacios has recorded 341 saves while allowing only 66 goals for a percentage of 83.8 percent.

Start Her Up
Junior GK Alyssa Palacios has all 16 matches of the season, playing a total of 1478:06 minutes (second C-USA/31st nation). That has elevated her to 58 starts in as many matches since joining UTEP. The effort has vaulted her into third place on the UTEP career charts for starts by a GK.

Shutout City
With three shutouts this year, junior GK Alyssa Palacios has elevated her career total to 18 which pulls her into a tie for third place on the Miner all-time charts. The effort has also put her within striking distance of program-record holder Sarah Dilling (20;2011-14) and her next shutout will break the tie with Brittany Popoff (2004-07) while also moving her past Amanda Smith (18.5; 1996-99).

Third Time’s The Charm
For the third time of her career, Alyssa Palacios has garnered the C-USA Goalkeeper of the Week award. She was named it most recently on Sept. 18 after her dominant performance against Southern Miss (9/17/16) when she made six saves, including a one-vs.-one stop, on the way to notching her second shutout of the year.

She was particularly strong in the first half, being called upon to deliver five saves.

Soto Shines Vs. Charlotte
Freshman Jackie Soto stepped up in a big way against Charlotte on Sept. 29, delivering her first career goal and game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory against the then C-USA league leaders. In the 20th minute she stole the ball and headed up the pitch.

She then absolutely rocketed it into upper 90’s country past a helpless Charlotte GK.

UTEP Turned It Around
After dropping its first five matches, including four in overtime or double overtime, UTEP turned it around by winning five straight and six of the next seven games to climb all the way back to .500 on the year on two separate occasions.

It marked the first time in program history that a team had been at least five games below .500 and managed to get all the way back to even.

All Good Things Must End
UTEP’s five-game winning streak came to a close with a hard-fought 1-0 loss vs. UAB on Sept. 22. The Miners outscored the opposition, 16-2, during the winning streak, which included three shutout victories.

Big Win
UTEP smoked DII program New Mexico Highlands, 8-0, on Sept. 13. It marked the largest shutout victory at the school since an 11-0 conquest of Grambling State in 2006. Additionally the eight goals tied as the eighth most in a single game in program history. Seven different Miners scored in the contest.

Working Overtime
For the first time in program history UTEP went to overtime in four straight contests to start the season. Overall the Miners have played overtime soccer five times so far in 2017. The five OT games tie as the fifth most on the Miner single-season charts.

Freshmen Power In OT
Redshirt-freshman Cayla Payne hammered home a cross from true freshman Vic Bohdan to lift the Miners to a 2-1 overtime win at Idaho State on Sept. 3. It marked the first time in program history that UTEP had an OT winner where both the goal scorer and individual credited with an assist were both freshmen.

Close Calls
For the third time in program history (2008, 2015) the first four matches of the season were decided by one goal or less. The trend has continued since that point. Overall 10 of the 16 contests, including four in league play, have been of the one-goal variety.

Youth Served
Even though the Miners returned 13 letter winners, including six starters, they are notably young in 2017. Of the 27 student-athletes on the roster, 20 are either freshmen (12) or sophomores (eight). There are only three seniors and four juniors.

Cross Joins Club 200
In his 17th year as the Miners’ head coach Kevin Cross has joined an exclusive club in UTEP Athletics history. At 203-118-23 he is the fifth head coach in Miner sports history to reach 200 career wins at the school (reached it with 2-1 victory vs. Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 10, 2017).

Previously Don Haskins (men’s basketball, 719-354), Norm Brandl (volleyball, 355-337), Keitha Adams (women’s basketball, 284-209) and co-head coaches James and Kathleen Rodriguez (softball, 211-325) achieved the feat. Cross also has the fourth-most tenured run by a Miner head coach. He trails Haskins (37 years), Jere Pelletier (women’s golf, 22 years and counting) and Bob Kitchens (track & field, 22 years).

Trailing Only Haskins
Not only has Kevin Cross joined the 200+ win club at UTEP (did so with 2-1 win vs. Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 10, 2017), he has done so in style. His winning percentage stands at 62.5 percent (203-118-23). That figure trails only Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins (men’s basketball) among the 200+ victory UTEP head coach club. Haskins had a 67.0 winning percentage (719-354) in his 37 seasons roaming the sidelines.

The Basic Facts
UTEP is in its 22nd season as a program, boasting an all-time record of 245-164-30. The Miners are under the direction of 17th-year head coach Kevin Cross, who sports a mark of 203-118-23 in that time frame. He is assisted by two former Miners (Heather Clark and Jessie Pettit).

RPI Success
One of the best ways to measure a team’s worth across the board is the RPI, and that’s an area UTEP has thrived in. The Miners have produced a top-100 RPI in five of the eight past seasons and 10 times total under Kevin Cross, including a program-best 31 in 2005. Additionally, the Miners have secured a spot in the NSCAA Central Region top-10 poll in 11 of the past 13 seasons.

Matter Of Consistency
The Miners have averaged 12 wins while appearing in three conference title games and one NCAA tournament (2005, second round) under Kevin Cross. UTEP is one of 12 programs nationwide (325+ programs) to have hit 10+ wins in each year since 2002. Joining the Miners are Boston College, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, North Texas, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Virginia and West Virginia.
Mark Brunner

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UTEP Falls To Middle Tennessee 3-1

Lauren Crenshaw (66′) scored her second goal of the season but UTEP couldn’t overcome a sluggish start in a 3-1 setback to Middle Tennessee at University Field Sunday evening.

“It’s hard to beat a conference team when you put yourself in a hole like that,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “I thought we had the better run of play and the more chances. It seemed like a few of those were going to go in and they didn’t go in.”

The Blue Raiders (7-7, 4-3 Conference USA) received first-half goals from Taylor Hatch (5′) and Sam DeBien (19′) to put the Miners (6-10, 2-5 C-USA) in a 2-0 halftime deficit before Crenshaw got the home side on the board midway through the second half.

UTEP was unable to find the equalizer, though, with Middle Tennessee tacking on a goal with six seconds to play in the game from Peyton DePriest (90′)

UTEP had the run of play in the contest, outshooting Middle Tennesse 22-12 and holding a 6-0 advantage in corner kicks. Alyssa Palacios registered one save in the match while visiting GK Sydney Chalcraft turned away seven chances.

Middle Tennessee got on the board first when a misplay by the Miner defense led to a wide-open look at the net for Hatch in the fifth minute. She took advantage, easily putting it away.

The Miners regrouped, finding some space to work with for Carleigh Simmons in the seventh minute. She fired the shot but Chalcraft registered a diving save.
The visitors took advantage of a foul deep in UTEP territory to push their lead to 2-0. The ball was played into the box where a sliding DeBien managed to one-time the shot past Palacios in the 19th minute.

Three minutes later the Orange and Blue were back on the offensive, looking to cut into the Blue Raiders’ 2-0 lead. Jeanna Mullen fired the shot but Chalcraft came up with the stop.

Crenshaw made a fantastic run in the 38th minute before unleashing a high-arching shot. Chalcraft waited and then at the last second leapt to punch it over the net for a UTEP corner kick. The Miners, though, were unable to convert on the chance.

UTEP had another corner kick in the 43rd minute which led to a good look for Hannah Burbank. On a bouncing ball she one-timed the shot toward the net but Chalcraft smothered the shot. After Middle Tennessee cleared the ball, the Miners regained possession and raced up the pitch. Vic Bohdan ended up with the ball on the left wing and rocketed it on net only to have Chalcraft fight it off for her fifth save of the half.

Bohdan had a great look to start the second half. She drilled a shot that cruelly clanked off the post.

Kennadie Chaudhary recorded a pair of shots then but both went wide, including one in the 54th minute.

Palacios registered a save on a free kick in the 64th minute, skillfully tracking the long-distance shot.

The Miners then went back on the offensive where Crenshaw buried the shot inside the far left post past a diving Chalcraft to make the score 2-1.

Bohdan fired a low, hard shot in the 75th minute but this time Chalcraft was able to deliver the save.

UTEP then earned a couple of corner kicks and put the ball into the box but it was unable to generate a shot on either occasion.

Aylin Villalobos had a chance on a free kick with a minute left in the game but fired it up over the goal. Middle Tennessee then counter attacked, managing to spring DePriest in alone and she put away the chance past Palacios on the breakaway.

UTEP will look to get back on track when it battles Marshall on “Senior Night” at 7 p.m. MT Thursday.

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HP Sports In Depth: UTEP Welcomes Middle Tennessee In “Kick For Cure” Game Sunday

The UTEP soccer team (6-9, 2-4 Conference USA) will play host to Middle Tennessee (6-6, 3-2-0 C-USA) in its annual “Kick For The Cure” game at University Field at 6 p.m. MT Sunday. In an effort to raise awareness in the battle against breast cancer, all fans who wear pink will get in free.

“We are very excited for this week and our annual Pink Out game,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “This game is near and dear to my heart. We will be auctioning off team signed pink game jerseys, and donating the proceeds to the Stand with Estela charity. Middle Tennessee is coming to town as one of the hottest teams right now in Conference USA soccer and has an excellent attack. They are very well coached and will be a big test for us. We are excited to be hosting this game in front of our amazing UTEP Soccer fans that give us such a big boost! We hope our fans come out this Sunday at 6 pm as there are only two home games remaining.”

Special Auction To Fight Breast Cancer
UTEP will auction off team-signed pink game jerseys as part of a silent auction during the game Sunday, and the proceeds are going toward a tremendous cause. All proceeds will go toward the recently-established “Stand With Estela Fund”, which was created with the El Paso Community Foundation.

Longtime KVIA anchor Estela Casas has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she is asking for the community to stand with her and other women battling the disease. The fund will raise money toward breast cancer research and help El Paso-area woman who are fighting it.

Going Back In Time
UTEP battled hard but dropped a pair of road games against two teams that have both been receiving votes in the national rankings. The Miners were upended at North Texas, 3-1, on Oct. 6 while falling by a score of 2-0 at Rice on Oct. 8.

Series History Vs. Middle Tennessee
UTEP is 2-1 against Middle Tennessee since the Blue Raiders joined Conference USA. The two squads met most recently last year, which resulted in a 4-1 road victory for UTEP on Oct. 16, 2016.

Brief Rundown On The Blue Raiders
Middle Tennessee is 6-6 on the year, including 3-2 within Conference USA play. After starting the year at 0-4, it has won six of the next eight games to climb back to .500 Peyton DePriest is the player to watch, accounting for more than half (nine of 16) of the Blue Raiders’ goals on the year. Sam Debien (two) is the only other individual on the squad with multiple goals.

Amber Hoot tops the team in assists (four). Sydney Chalcraft has played every minute of every match in net, recording a total of 54 saves and a trio of shutouts.

Time To Get Back On Track
UTEP started the year at 0-5, with the first with the first four losses in either overtime or double overtime, but it proved it could handle adversity by winning five straight and six of the next seven games. The time has come for the Orange and Blue to once again dig deep as they’ve dropped three straight hard-fought games. The first opportunity comes Sunday against Middle Tennessee.

Bohdan Scores Again
Freshman Vic Bodhan put away her team-high tying fifth goal of the year in the 3-1 setback at North Texas on Oct. 6. Bohdan took possession of the ball in the box, spun and buried the shot past a diving keeper. She shares the team lead for goals with fellow classmate Anna Jimmerson.

Chaudhary’s Corner
Kennadie Chaudhary is one of three seniors on the squad for the Miners, and she’s making the most of her final go-around with the Orange and Blue. She has scored four goals, which sets a seasonal career high. The most important of those was the game-winning tally with just 59 seconds remaining in regulation at Southern Miss to lift UTEP to a 1-0 triumph in its Conference USA opener on Sept. 17. Making Chaudhary’s offensive exploits even more impressive is the fact her four goals have come on 11 shots on target.

Not Just A Defender
While sophomore Lauren Crenshaw has made her mark on defense in 2017, she’s also used her unique skillset to jump into the attack at the opportune time. A recent example of that came in the match-up against ODU on Oct. 1 when she played a perfect ball to senior Kennadie Chaudhary to set up the Miners’ first goal of the game. Crenshaw ranks second on the team in assists (three). She also has one goal on the year, which came against New Mexico Highlands on Sept. 13.

Three-Headed Attack
Freshman Anna Jimmerson (five) freshman Vic Bohdan (five) and senior Kennadie Chaudhary (four) have combined to score 14 of UTEP’s 22 goals on the season. Bohdan also paces the squad in assists (four), points (14), shots (35) and shots on goal (18).

Freshmen Firepower
Freshmen Anna Jimmerson (five) and Vic Bohdan (five) have proven to be the top scoring threats for the Miners in 2017. The last time UTEP had a freshman pace the team in goals scored was 2006 with Tameka Sumter (13). You have to go back to 2004 to find the last time the top-two spots were held by freshmen when Jami Tullius and Cara Nordin each recorded 10 goals.

Save The Day
Alyssa Palacios has compiled 97 saves (first C-USA/sixth nation) in 2017 (6.47 saves/match-first C-USA/18th nation), including matching her career high with 10 saves against both New Mexico on Aug. 27 and Old Dominion on Oct. 1. She started the year fourth place on the career Miner charts but with 340 saves has now climbed into second all-time. She has surpassed both Sarah Dilling (317; 2011-14) and Brittany Poppoff (270; 2004-07). The school record holder is Amanda Smith (438; 1996-99).

Up To The Task
Not only has Alyssa Palacios piled up the saves, she has done so at outstanding percentage. In 2017 Palacios is turning away 83.6 percent (fourth C-USA/56th nation) of shots faced, which has allowed her to continue to currently hold the top spot for that category in the Miners’ record books. For her career Palacios has recorded 340 saves while allowing only 63 goals for a percentage of 84.4 percent.

Start Her Up
Junior GK Alyssa Palacios has all 15 matches of the season, playing a total of 1388:06 minutes (second C-USA/10th nation). That has elevated her to 57 starts in as many matches since joining UTEP. The effort has vaulted her into third place on the UTEP career charts for starts by a GK.

Shutout City
With three shutouts this year, junior GK Alyssa Palacios has elevated her career total to 18 which pulls her into a tie for third place on the Miner all-time charts. The effort has also put her within striking distance of program-record holder Sarah Dilling (20;2011-14) and her next shutout will break the tie with Brittany Popoff (2004-07) while also moving her past Amanda Smith (18.5; 1996-99).

Third Time’s The Charm
For the third time of her career, Alyssa Palacios has garnered the C-USA Goalkeeper of the Week award. She was named it most recently on Sept. 18 after her dominant performance against Southern Miss (9/17/16) when she made six saves, including a one-vs.-one stop, on the way to notching her second shutout of the year. She was particularly strong in the first half, being called upon to deliver five saves.

Soto Shines Vs. Charlotte
Freshman Jackie Soto stepped up in a big way against Charlotte on Sept. 29, delivering her first career goal and game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory against the then C-USA league leaders. In the 20th minute she stole the ball and headed up the pitch. She then absolutely rocketed it into upper 90’s country past a helpless Charlotte GK.

UTEP Turned It Around
After dropping its first five matches, including four in overtime or double overtime, UTEP turned it around by winning five straight and six of the next seven games to climb all the way back to .500 on the year on two separate occasions. It marked the first time in program history that a team had been at least five games below .500 and managed to get all the way back to even.

All Good Things Must End
UTEP’s five-game winning streak came to a close with a hard-fought 1-0 loss vs. UAB on Sept. 22. The Miners outscored the opposition, 16-2, during the winning streak, which included three shutout victories.

Big Win
UTEP smoked DII program New Mexico Highlands, 8-0, on Sept. 13. It marked the largest shutout victory at the school since an 11-0 conquest of Grambling State in 2006. Additionally the eight goals tied as the eighth most in a single game in program history. Seven different Miners scored in the contest.

Working Overtime
For the first time in program history UTEP went to overtime in four straight contests to start the season. Overall the Miners have played overtime soccer five times so far in 2017. The five OT games already ties as the fifth most on the Miner single-season charts.

Freshmen Power In OT
Redshirt-freshman Cayla Payne hammered home a cross from true freshman Vic Bohdan to lift the Miners to a 2-1 overtime win at Idaho State on Sept. 3. It marked the first time in program history that UTEP had an OT winner where both the goal scorer and individual credited with an assist were both freshmen.

Close Calls
For the third time in program history (2008, 2015) the first four matches of the season were decided by one goal or less. The trend has continued since that point. Overall 10 of the 15 contests, including the first four Conference USA match-ups, were one-goal games.

Youth Served
Even though the Miners returned 13 letter winners, including six starters, they are notably young in 2017. Of the 27 student-athletes on the roster, 20 are either freshmen (12) or sophomores (eight). There are only three seniors and four juniors.

Cross Joins Club 200
In his 17th year as the Miners’ head coach Kevin Cross has joined an exclusive club in UTEP Athletics history. At 203-117-23 he is the fifth head coach in Miner sports history to reach 200 career wins at the school (reached it with 2-1 victory vs. Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 10, 2017).

Previously Don Haskins (men’s basketball, 719-354), Norm Brandl (volleyball, 355-337), Keitha Adams (women’s basketball, 284-209) and co-head coaches James and Kathleen Rodriguez (softball, 211-325) achieved the feat. Cross also has the fourth-most tenured run by a Miner head coach. He trails Haskins (37 years), Jere Pelletier (women’s golf, 22 years and counting) and Bob Kitchens (track & field, 22 years).

Trailing Only Haskins
Not only has Kevin Cross joined the 200+ win club at UTEP (did so with 2-1 win vs. Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 10, 2017), he has done so in style. His winning percentage stands at 62.5 percent (203-117-23). That figure trails only Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins (men’s basketball) among the 200+ victory UTEP head coach club.

Haskins had a 67.0 winning percentage (719-354) in his 37 seasons roaming the sidelines.

The Basic Facts
UTEP is in its 22nd season as a program, boasting an all-time record of 245-163-30. The Miners are under the direction of 17th-year head coach Kevin Cross, who sports a mark of 203-117-23 in that time frame. He is assisted by two former Miners (Heather Clark and Jessie Pettit).

RPI Success
One of the best ways to measure a team’s worth across the board is the RPI, and that’s an area UTEP has thrived in. The Miners have produced a top-100 RPI in five of the eight past seasons and 10 times total under Kevin Cross, including a program-best 31 in 2005. Additionally, the Miners have secured a spot in the NSCAA Central Region top-10 poll in 11 of the past 13 seasons.

Matter Of Consistency
The Miners have averaged 12 wins while appearing in three conference title games and one NCAA tournament (2005, second round) under Kevin Cross. UTEP is one of 12 programs nationwide (325+ programs) to have hit 10+ wins in each year since 2002.

Joining the Miners are Boston College, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, North Texas, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Virginia and West Virginia.

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C-USA Leader Rice Beats UTEP 2-0

HOUSTON – The UTEP soccer team battled hard but Conference USA leader Rice scored twice in the span of the minute of a half in the second half on the way to downing the Miners, 2-0, in Houston Sunday afternoon.

The Owls (9-2-1, 6-0-0 C-USA) received goals from Lianne Mananquil (54’) and Ashley Burgess (55’) while Alyssa Palacios registered six saves for the Miners (6-9, 2-4 C-USA).

“We had a tough away game at the top team in Conference USA right now who is receiving votes nationally,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We battled them well, and just had a small span where we lost our focus. We had a few prime chances to score that didn’t go in which would have changed the game. We will be ready on Sunday versus Middle Tennessee.”

UTEP pressured early, with Cayla Payne forcing Maya Hoyer into a save in the third minute of action. The Owls then launched a counter attack where Palacios turned away the shot from Annie Walker.

The Miners had another chance in the eighth minute but it was wiped away on an offside call.

Vic Bohdan’s shot was blocked over the endline to set up a corner kick in the 18th minute but UTEP was unable to convert.

Palacios denied Marissa Topolska in the 26th minute while the Miners fought off three straight corners in a span of three minutes starting in the 32nd minute.

UTEP looked poised to break the scoreless tie in the 40th minute but Aylin Villalobos’s shot cruelly clanked off the crossboar. The Owls then raced up the pitch in an attempt to get on the board but Palacios registered the save on Jessica Johnston’s shot.

UTEP raced up the pitch off the kickoff in the second half. There was a good ball played to a cutting April Pate, but she rifled the shot high.

Walker fired from just outside the box in the 53rd minute but Palacios tracked it the entire time. A minute later the Owls regained control possession of the ball, strung together a couple of passes before Mananquil finished the cross in the box.

UTEP looked to regoup but unfortunately the Owls immediately went back on the attack, with Burgess managing to best Palacios.

The Miners then settled down, getting a look from Kennadie Chaudhary but it was gobbled up by Hoyer in the 61st minute.

Palacios was called upon in the 69th minute, stoning Mananquil on a shot in the box to keep the score at 2-0.

Jackie Soto generated a chance in the 72nd minute but she fired the shot wide of the frame. Bohdan then had her shot blocked to set up a corner kick.

Marissa Topolski tested Palacios in the 74th minute, and she was up to the task.

UTEP earned another corner kick in the 83rd minute but it couldn’t convert.

The Miners will be back home against Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m. MT on Oct. 15 in their “Kick For The Cure” game. In order to raise awareness in the battle against breast cancer, all fans who wear pink will get in free.

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UTEP Upended At North Texas, 3-1

 

UTEP dug itself an early hole and could never recover in an eventual 3-1 loss at North Texas Friday evening.

The Mean Green (8-2-2, 3-0-1 C-USA) received first-half goals from Natalie McDonough (2’) and Aaliyah Nolan (15’) while Katie Gernsbacher (53′) scored in the second half.

Vic Bohdan (75’) scored her team-high tying fifth goal of the season while Alyssa Palacios registered seven saves for the Miners (6-8, 2-3 C-USA).

“North Texas is very good at home and came out on fire,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We did not match their aggressiveness in the first half which was disappointing. We played better in the second half. Our challenge is to play a full 90 minutes versus Rice on Sunday, and start the game extremely aggressive.”

North Texas got on the board early off a scramble in the box from a corner kick when McDonough finished a shot into the right corner.

The Miners earned a corner kick in the sixth minute but they couldn’t convert.

A long through ball was perfectly placed by the Mean Green, leading to a partial breakaway for North Texas in the 15th minute. Palacios tried to cut the angle down but Nolan fired the shot past her.

In the 19th minute Anna Jimmerson fired the shot but it was blocked to set up another corner kick for the Miners. UNT was unable to successfully clear and Carleigh Simmons had a chance but it was off the mark.

Palacios came up with a nice save, using a diving effort to turn away Marie Elle Defrain in the 30th minute. Three minutes later she registered another save on a header by Defrain. Palacios then denied Brooke Lampe’s header in the 37th minute while scooping up her shot a minute later.

The junior netminder did a good job of guarding the near post on Defrain’s shot in the 42nd minute.
Early in the second half there was a sliding effort by Payton Ross to prevent a shot from reaching Palacios.

There was an unlucky bounce on a shot by Gernsbacher in the 53rd minute, and it skipped past Palacios to make it 3-0 in favor of the home side.

In the 54th minute Palacios found some redemption by turning away Gernsbacher.

Cayla Payne fired a shot from outside the box in the 59th minute but Mean Green GK Brooke Bradley recorded the save. Jeanna Mullen had a good look on a header in the 63rd minute but it was errant.
Kennadie Chaudhary let one go in the 68th minute but it ended up wide of the frame.

There was a great shot by Carleigh Simmons in the 69th minute but Bradley made a leaping save to punch it over the frame to set up a UTEP corner kick. The Miners created plenty of chaos on the ensuing corner, earning another one in the process. That one led to a chance by Payne but it was handled again by Bradley.

The pressure paid off when Bohdan spin, shot and scored past a diving Bradley.

Aylin Villalobos rifled a shot that was gobbled up by Bradley in the 84th minute. UNT then launched a counter attack but Palacios made a great save on the shot by Nolan.

The Miners will look for a split on the road trip when they play at league-leader Rice at 12 p.m. MT Sunday

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ODU Slips Past UTEP 2-1 in Sunday Soccer Battle

Junior Alyssa Palacios made a career-high tying 10 saves and senior Kennadie Chaudhary (48’) scored her fourth goal of the campaign but it wasn’t enough in a 2-1 loss at home to Old Dominion Sunday evening.

The Lady Monarchs (6-3-2, 3-1-0 Conference USA) received first-half goals from Demi Maris (41’) and Jackie Stroud (44’) and the Miners’ (6-7, 2-2 C-USA) rally came up short.

Lauren Crenshaw was credited with an assist on Chaudhary’s goal.

“We had our worst half of soccer in C-USA play in the first half,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “I don’t understand being here at home to start like that. We challenged them that they needed to work for each other (in the second half). I thought we could maybe get a second one but it never happened.”

There was a nice service on a corner kick that found Anna Jimmerson in the eighth minute but her header was errant. A minute later ODU generated the first shot on goal of the game, also off a header, but Palacios handled the try by Natalie Johnson.

Johnson tried another header in the 18th minute but Palacios was up to the task. She also denied the shot by Emma Gervase in the 27th minute.

Palacios made a brilliant save, a sliding stop on a shot by Christina Bashara in the 30th minute.

ODU finally was able to get on the board in the 41st minute when Maris’s shot through traffic bested Palacios and ended up in the lower, left-hand corner of the net. Three minutes later off a set piece Stroud hammered home a header that just snuck past the outstretched hands of Palacios.

UTEP regrouped at halftime and came out of the gates in the second half with much better energy.

The payoff was almost instantaneous, with Crenshaw setting up Chaudhary in space in the 48th minute. The senior then shot it from the left hand side with the try bouncing past ODU GK Krista Moisio for her fourth goal of the year.

In the 52nd minute Carleigh Simmons took a turn-around shot but this one was wide.

Palacios then did her part, making two saves in the span of a minute to keep the score at 2-1. She cleanly handled a long-range try by Devyn Hannis before making an outstanding leaping stop on Carla Morlich’s try.

Chaudhary vied for the equalizer in the 71st minute but this time the ODU defense was able to get in front of it to block away the try.

Jackie Soto got a look off a header from a corner kick in the 81st minute but Moisio came up with the diving save. The Miners had one final chance in the 90th minute on a free kick by Aylin Villalobos but it unfortunately sailed high over the net.

UTEP will look to regain its winning ways when it plays at North Texas at 6 p.m. MT on Friday. The roadtrip then continues at Rice at 12 p.m. MT on Oct. 8.

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