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Home | Tag Archives: UTEP Soccer

Tag Archives: UTEP Soccer

Miners battle to 2-2 draw against Wyoming

Seniors Danielle Carreon (24’) and Lauren Crenshaw (76’) each found the back of the net to help the UTEP soccer team battle to a 2-2 draw against Wyoming in the season opener for both teams at University Field Thursday evening.

“There’s a lot to build on from tonight,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “We just came back and found the back of the net twice. I can’t be more proud of those types of things. They responded really well.”

The Cowgirls (0-0-1) jumped out to respective leads of 1-0 and 2-1 behind goals from Jami Tatum (23’) and Indianna Asimus (76’) but both times the Miners (0-0-1) countered. Freshman Emily Parrott registered four saves, including two in double overtime, to secure a quality result in her collegiate debut.

The match was delayed more than an hour due to lightning in the area, but once it got going the youth-laden Orange and Blue played stride for stride with a Wyoming squad that earned a share of the Mountain West regular-season crown a year ago.

Parrott was called upon for the first time of her career in the 11th minute, turning away a soft header from Asimus. Crenshaw got a great look in the 16th minute, unleashing a blast that whistled just wide of the frame.

The visitors took advantage of a miscommunication on a pass along the back line, leading to Tatum smacking the shot past Parrott in the 23rd minute. The Miners regrouped immediately, finding the equalizer 80 seconds later. Tessa Carlin played the ball to the back post to a cutting Carreon, who hammered home the header.

Carreon was in search for her second goal of the game early in the second stanza, but she was turned away on a blast from outside the box by Hannah Lee. The Miners’ defense came up big with a blocked shot by Emerson Kidd on a rocket from Tori Parker in the 69th minute.

Carreon was knocking on the door again in the 75th minute, eliciting a diving stop by Lee. The Cowgirls then raced up the pitch, earning a free kick from just outside the box. Asimus snuck the ball around the wall and past Parrott to put the Cowgirls back ahead, 2-1. But just like the first half, UTEP countered. This time it was Crenshaw doing the damage. She found some space to work with from the top of the box, rifling it home past a diving Lee.

Parrott came up with a stop early in the OT period, gobbling up the shot from Asimus in the 93rd minute.

UTEP generated its own pressure in the 99th minute. Kam Fisher’s shot was blocked by the defense. The Orange and Blue kept possession, allowing Crenshaw a chance to be the hero. She deftly bent a shot toward upper 90’s country only to have Lee make a leaping save.

Parrott recorded a pair of saves in the second OT stanza while Lee came up with one stop.

UTEP will return to the pitch against Abilene Christian at 1 p.m. Sunday. The #ElPasoStrong initiative will continue. There will also be the “Youth Day” promotion for Sunday’s contest, with a post-game autograph session on the docket. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

UTEP Soccer Kicks Off Balogun Era with two home matches; Thursday will be #ElPasoStrong night

The UTEP soccer team will christen the Kathryn Balogun era with home match-ups against Wyoming (7 p.m. Thursday) and Abilene Christian (1 p.m. Sunday).

“We are excited to get started with two home games this weekend,” Balogun said. “The team and staff have worked hard this preseason in preparation while learning and growing together. Wyoming always brings a great game, and it will be a great test to start our season. It’s always an outstanding atmosphere at University Field. Thank you to our loyal fans. We are honored to support the healing process here in El Paso with #ElPasoStrong. Our soccer community was directly affected, and we are dedicated to playing our best for our community and fans.”

Thursday’s match-up will be the #ElPasoStrong game, with the Miners wearing #ElPasoStrong shirts in warm-ups. There will also be a moment of silence prior to the contest in remembrance of the victims of the Aug. 3 tragedy.

The #ElPasoStrong initiative will continue on Sunday. There will also be the “Youth Day” promotion for Sunday’s contest, with a post-game autograph session on the docket.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

Start It up

The Miners are 17-5-1 in season openers since the program’s inception in 1996. Last year UTEP trounced Lubbock Christian, 6-1, on Aug. 17 to start the campaign off on a high note.

Series History Vs. Wyoming

UTEP is 4-1 all time against Wyoming, including a mark of 3-0 at home. The former WAC rivals are locking up for the third time in the past four years. Most recently Wyoming successfully defended its home pitch, 3-1, on Sept. 1, 2017. The Miners and the Cowgirls squared off annually from 1996-98 in the WAC before the nearly 20-year hiatus in the series.

Series History Vs. Abilene Christian

UTEP is facing Abilene Christian for the seventh consecutive campaign, with the ledger squared at 2-2-2. All prior six meetings have been decided by one goal or less, including the Wildcats staking a 1-0 victory last year (8/19/18) in Abilene, Texas.

Quick Overview On Wyoming

Wyoming brought back three starters and 14 letter winners in total from a team that finished 12-4-4 (7-2-2 Mountain West) and earned a share of the MW regular-season crown. The Cowgirls were predicted to finish fifth in the league’s preseason poll. Wyoming tuned up for the regular season by toppling FC Boulder, 4-2, at home on Aug. 17. Four different players found the back of the net for the Cowgirls.

Quick Overview On Abilene Christian

Defending Southland Conference tournament champion Abilene Christian returned 23 letter winners from the squad that competed in the NCAA Tournament and finished with a record of 15-6-1. The Wildcats were picked first in the SLC preseason poll and placed a league-best eight players on the preseason all-league teams, including five on the top squad. ACU routed Texas Southern, 9-0, in an exhibition game on Aug. 18.

The Basic Facts

UTEP is in its 24th season as a program, boasting an all-time record of 254-175-34. The Miners are under the direction of first-year head coach Kathryn Balogun. She is assisted by Stewart Givens and Kate Ward and volunteer assistant coach Michael Balogun.

Freshmen Power

UTEP has 11 true freshmen on the roster in 2019, its highest total since carrying 14 in 2000. The newcomers comprise nearly half of the squad (11 of 24).

Youth Served In Goal

For the first time since 2008, UTEP will exclusively rely on a freshman goalkeeper. Newcomers Zoey Lopez (Montwood HS) and Emily Parrott (Lone Star HS) both arrived in the Sun City this fall, with the task of replacing four-year starter Alyssa Palacios. It worked out well enough in 2008, with the Miners forging a 13-7-1 record (6-4-1 C-USA) behind the combined efforts of Sara Kaltwasser and Chandra Morden. The duo combined for a .806 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.12.

Stat Leaders Back

UTEP brought back three of its top-four point producers from the 2018 season, including senior Lauren Crenshaw. In 2018 she paced the team in both goals (seven) and points (15), aided by becoming the first Miner to finish perfect (min. three attempts) on penalty kicks (3-3) in a single year.

Also returning are junior Adrianna Jimmerson (four goals-eight points) and 2018 C-USA All-Freshman honoree Jojo Ngongo (three goals, two assists-eight points). Overall the Miners have six starters and 13 letter winners in the fold from last year’s squad (7-8-4, 2-5-3 C-USA).

Getting It Done In League Play

First-year head coach Kathryn Balogun has a history of success in conference action. During her five seasons (2014-18) at the helm of Texas Southern, she compiled a record of 31-13-7 in Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) contests. Her squad produced winning marks in SWAC action and advanced to the league tournament in all five seasons.

UTEP Soccer on Social Media

For complete coverage of UTEP soccer, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoccer (Twitter), @UTEPMinersSoccer (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Soccer Holds First Practice Of Season

The UTEP soccer team held its first practice to prepare for the 2019 season under the lights of University Field Wednesday evening. First-year head coach Kathryn Balogun led her squad through a two-hour workout with a big-picture perspective in mind.

“We were excited to get started tonight,” Balogun said. “As a coaching staff we believe defense and team chemistry wins championships. With that being said, we will spend a great amount of time this preseason working on our defensive organization and team unity both on and off the field. As a new staff we have 24 players who don’t know our day-to-day in-season expectations, which will take considerable repetition and attention to detail by us.”

The opening practice contained a lot of emphasis on defensive shape and communication, two things that will be of upmost importance for a squad which will start a freshman in net. In the mix for that starting goalkeeper nod will be newcomers Zoey Lopez (Montwood HS) and Emily Parrott (Lone Star HS).

The duo is part of a big influx of talent, with 11 freshmen set to suit up this fall. That works out to nearly half of the roster (11 of 24) being comprised of freshmen, something Balogun isn’t shying away from.

“Our freshmen will be a big part of our success on and off the field,” Balogun said. “Not only do they make up a large part of our roster, many of them passed their fitness test on the first day. In addition, freshmen are typically eager to learn which makes teaching them our system a bit easier.”

Overall UTEP returns 13 players from last year’s squad, including six who started at least eight matches in 2018. Seniors Danielle Carreon, Lauren Crenshaw and Kori Lewis will be counted on for their leadership, something Crenshaw understands is especially vital this season.

“Having leadership this year is really important because we have such a young squad,” Crenshaw said. “Going into my senior year, I want to leave on a good note and make a good impression on the younger players so they can hopefully become leaders one day.”

The Miners will continue training over the next two weeks before kicking off the 2019 season at home against Wyoming on Aug. 22 (7 p.m.).

The match will be the first of two in the Sun City to start the year, with ACU (Aug. 25, 1 p.m.) rounding out the opening weekend of action.

For complete coverage of UTEP soccer, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoccer (Twitter), @UTEPMinersSoccer (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

Video+Q & A: UTEP Soccer Assistant Coach Kate Ward to train with USA Deaf Soccer Team

UTEP soccer assistant coach Kate Ward will take part in training camp with the U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team from July 29 through August 2 at Real Salt Lake in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ward is a captain for the team and has previously helped USA win two DIFA (Deaf International Football Association) World Cups (Turkey 2012, Italy 2016) and two gold medals at the Deaflympics (Taiwan 2009, Bulgaria 2013).

A Q&A with Ward follows below.

How did you get involved with the U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team?

“When I was 15, I first joined the team. I heard about the team when I was 12 years old, and one of the staff (members) for the men’s deaf national team saw me play at state cup. He went to my coach and was like ‘I noticed she had a cochlear implant; do you think she’d be interested?’ My parents and I were kind of like I’m a little too young so we waited a few years and looked into it again. I went to a camp in Florida. It was right before the 2009 Taipei  Deaflympics, and it was kind of a whirlwind. I tried out for the team, two months later I was going to Taipei. So that was really an amazing experience, and since then it’s been a really special thing to be a part of.”


How long have you been a part of the team?

“It’s been 10 years, and I’ve really grown up with this team. It’s really changed my life in so many ways.”


What’s it like competing with the USDWNT?

“I think it’s really cool getting to compete in international events like World Cups and Deaflympics, but I think it’s really special being around people who are just like me. It’s not just my teammates. Yes, that’s special because they inspire me, they’re just like me, they understand me. But being around kids who are like me when we do camps and clinics and things like that, that’s extremely special. I don’t think there’s a lot of deaf role models in the world, and so being able to give back in that way has been incredibly special and touching in many, many ways.”


You’re off to USDWNT training camp next week. What is that whole process like?

“We have two to three training camps a year. It kind of depends on the cycle. In 2020 we have the World Cup and in 2021 we have the Deaflympics so things are starting to get more serious. We’re narrowing down the pool. There are about 25 players coming to this camp, and we’ll probably get down to a roster of 18-20 by next year. We’re training at Real Salt Lake, and that should be really cool. We’re excited to be there. I think it will be a fun time. It’s a really important time not just for stuff on the field but off the field also to get to know people as a team because team chemistry is so important.”


What’s the communication process for the team?

“The communication thing is really interesting. What’s so special about this team is that everybody has different pathways of getting there and different ways of dealing with their hearing loss. You have people who don’t use hearing devices at all, who primarily use sign language and can’t really lip read. Then you have people kind of more similar to me who grew up in a hearing world, had hearing devices and didn’t really learn sign language growing up because they didn’t have to. Then you have people kind of in the middle. Meshing all of that is really interesting. That’s something we always have to work on, that communication barrier. It’s really interesting on the field because no one can wear their hearing devices so you’re all on a level playing field, which is really cool but can also be really frustrating at times. Imagine trying to get your teammate’s attention or imagine being the coach and trying to get a player’s attention. It’s a creative means of communicating and working together.”


What impact has soccer had on your life?

“Soccer has had the biggest impact on who I am, and has helped me in my disability because I’ve been able to be normal. Obviously, I love coaching and I’ve gotten very involved in disability sports, which has been super special. Soccer is the best way for me to give back, and it’s something I’m super passionate about.”


What advice do you have for an aspiring young athlete with hearing loss?

“The realization that your disability shouldn’t hold you back in any way, shape or form. Just because I can’t hear or you can’t hear or something like that doesn’t mean you can’t be a smart, successful human being. You should never let anyone tell you no because that’s just not who you are. Your hearing loss can be a really empowering thing because you think about the barriers you overcome on a daily basis. Those are things that people don’t always have to deal with. Learn as well that when someone tells you no to not listen to that.”

Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics

Video+Story – Creating Champions: Cayla Payne revels in spotlight for UTEP Soccer

Cayla Payne wants to be on television one day.

The redshirt-junior on the UTEP soccer team hopes to parlay her multimedia journalism degree into a career interviewing the highest-profile figures in sports.

But before she takes her affable demeanor in front of the camera, Payne expects to deliver another year of tenacity on the pitch for the Miners, who enter the 2019 season with renewed zeal under new coach Kathryn Balogun. Payne expresses gratitude to the Miner Athletic Club for the opportunity to pursue both endeavors.

“Receiving a scholarship has impacted me a lot,” Payne said. “It has changed my standpoint in life because a lot of people don’t receive these opportunities. Being able to receive this is a blessing. I’m able to further my sport but also my career and what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

In 2019, Payne hopes to build on a strong 2018 campaign in which she made 14 starts, registered two assists and scored one goal from her outside defender position. The Mansfield, Texas, native began playing soccer at age 3. Playing collegiately was a long-standing dream that she said was aided by her parents and teammates from Lake Ridge High School. Payne recognizes the importance of wearing the Orange and Blue, and she knows there are eyes on her.

“To represent the Miners is amazing,” Payne said. “You have so many people looking up to you, especially younger players. Whenever they come up to you and say, ‘You’re my favorite,’ or ‘Oh, my goodness, you did so amazing,’ it makes me so happy because I impacted someone so much younger than me and moved them into what they want to do.”

Balogun said Payne is the epitome of a selfless teammate who consistently works to her capability and goes beyond what is asked of her for the benefit of the team. The first-year coach said Payne also represents the value of sports for talented young people who are actively engaged in academic pursuits.

“Sports provide abundant opportunities for people,” Balogun said. “Competing enhances our student-athletes by bolstering their character, instilling discipline and teaching the value of sacrifice. Cayla exudes all of these qualities. She is a diligent worker, a highly regarded teammate and a unifying force on and off the field. She is making the most of her opportunity to play Division I soccer.”

And while Payne has given UTEP a model student-athlete, she said she also has received something in return from the University.

“My favorite memory from UTEP are my friends,” she said. “I’ve made so many friends here. I’ve made so many memories that I won’t ever forget.”

Payne hopes to create more notable moments this year. The 2019 season kicks off Aug. 22 at University Field against the University of Wyoming.

Author:  Pablo Villa – UTEP Communications


Creating Champions: This is the second article in 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 to learn more about the Creating Champions campaign.

UTEP Soccer To Hold Three Camps This Summer

UTEP soccer head coach Kathryn Balogun and her staff are excited to hold three different camps this summer.

Each of the camps are open to any and all entrants and enrollment is only limited based on age, grade level, gender or number restrictions specified by each camp.

Information for each of the camps is found below, with interested individuals also encouraged to visit the UTEP soccer camp website.

Mini Miners Soccer Camp (Evening) – June 16-19, 2019 (5:30-8:30 p.m.)

University Field   |   $153.70 (For Entire Camp)

The Miner Miners Soccer Camp (evening) will run from June 16-19 (5:30-8:30 p.m. daily) at University Field. The camp is an exciting and fun opportunity for active kids of all skill levels (ages 6-18) who want to learn and develop their technical soccer skills prior to cooling off in the sprinklers. Campers will receive top-notch instruction from UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun, her staff and members of the UTEP soccer team while having fun playing the game they love. A military and UTEP employee discount of $20 is available, and the code may be received by contacting Katie Ward at


Mini Miners Soccer Camp (Morning)  – June 19-22, 2019 (9 a.m.-12 p.m.)

University Field   |   $153.70 (For Entire Camp)

The Miner Miners Soccer Camp (morning) will be held from June 19-22 (9 a.m.-12 p.m. daily) at University Field. The camp provides an exciting and fun opportunity for active kids of all skill levels (ages 6-18) who want to learn and develop their technical soccer skills before cooling off in the sprinklers.

Campers will receive the best instruction from UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun, her staff and members of the UTEP soccer team while having fun playing the game they love. A military and UTEP employee discount of $20 is available, and the code may be received by contacting Katie Ward at


College ID Camp – July 27-28, 2019 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.)

University Field  |  $90 per day or $170 for both days

The UTEP soccer College ID Camp will be held from July 27-28 at University Field. It is open to all girls entering ninth grade and above. The camp will provide the perfect opportunity for individuals to display soccer skills while receiving quality collegiate training from UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun and her staff.

Campers who attend both days will be able to receive technical and tactical instruction, take a tour of the campus and partake in a college Q&A. They can also showcase their abilities through small-sided and 11 vs. 11 games. Both days will have similar schedules but encompass different activities.

UTEP’s New Soccer Coach Kathryn Balogun Releases 2019 Soccer Schedule

A match-up with NM State in addition to playing 10 home games highlight the 2019 UTEP soccer schedule, as announced by first-year head coach Kathryn Balogun.

The Miners will battle against I-10 rivals NM State for the sixth consecutive year, boasting a 7-1 record against the Aggies.

“We are excited about our first season as a coaching staff with the team,” Balogun said. “The nonconference schedule will prepare us well for conference play. We are excited to open up the year at home with Wyoming and ACU. We will open and close league play at home, and definitely love the support of the Sun City.”

The Orange and Blue will host the Wyoming for their home opener (Aug. 22), followed by a home matchup with Abilene Christian University (Aug. 25) to start the 2019 campaign.

The Miners then hit the road for two games, first meeting with Grand Canyon University (Aug. 29) and then facing UT-Rio Grande Valley (Sept. 1). Returning home for a mini home stand, UTEP takes on instate rivals Texas State (Sept. 6) and Southern Utah (Sept. 8).

Closing out the nonconference schedule, the Miners take a trip up Interstate 10 to take on rivals NM State (Sept. 12), before heading north to take on Utah Valley University (Sept. 14). The Miners return home to face University of the Southwest (Sept. 17) for the first time in program history.

The UTEP soccer program breaks a five-year streak of opening up C-USA action on the road, with a home league opener against FIU (Sept. 22). The other C-USA contests slated for University Field are WKU (Oct. 10), LA Tech (Oct. 17), Southern Miss (Oct. 20) and UTSA (Nov. 1). The contest against the Roadrunners closes out the regular season.

Conference road games will include Marshall (Sept. 26), UAB (Oct. 3), Middle Tennessee (Oct. 6), Charlotte (Oct. 24) and Old Dominion (Oct. 27).

UTEP Soccer Restocks Roster With 2019 Signing Class

Nine prep standouts have signed national letters of intent and will compete for the UTEP Soccer team starting in fall of 2019, UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun revealed on Wednesday.

“We are excited for what lies ahead for UTEP soccer,” Balogun said. “This is an exciting time for each signing player, family and friends. As each players bio shows these young women have worked so hard to earn the opportunity to play for UTEP and the new coaching staff is eager to help them achieve their full potential both in the classroom and on the field while here at UTEP.”

Emerson Kidd, Lilly Marquez, Bella Benavides, Jackie Miller, Vanessa Cabello, Rocky Houston, Adriana Lopez and Emily Parrott join Moe Sais, who enrolled for the spring 2019 semester, to comprise the 10-member signing class.

Below are brief write-ups on the newest Miners.

Emerson Kidd

Played for Manitoba Blizzard, Canada REX and FC Northwest in Winnipeg, Canada … garnered playing time for the Manitoba Provincial Team during the Canadian National Championships and earned CSA All Star honors … captained the FC Northwest team that claimed runner-up at the U-14 Canadian Club Nationals in 2015 … 2016 Vancouver Whitecaps Academy Player of the Month … won the Provincial Championship as captain of FC Northwest (2015, 16, 18) … sister Taylor Kidd graduated from UTEP in 2016 after playing all four years under Kevin Cross … daughter of Trevor and Tiffany Kidd … father played 12 years in the National Hockey League with Calgary, Carolina, Florida and Toronto and won a silver medal with Canada at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games … sister Kennedy played soccer at the University of North Dakota (2015-18).

Bella Benavides

El Paso native, who currently plays for El Paso High School … has appeared in 51 games, notched 35 goals, registered 22 assists and tallied 92 points for the Tigers … has played with Galacticas FC since 2010 … named All-District first team (2016, 2017) … earned All-City first-team honors (2016, 2017) … reached the All-Region (TASCO) first team in 2017 … a two sport athlete, competing in cross country … she earned runner up at the District Cross Country Championships … named to the All-City second team in 2017 … daughter of Paul and Rita Benavides … has one brother and two sisters, Paulo, Elyse and Charlotte … father, Paul, was a four-year letterwinner in the pole vault at UTEP and went on to compete professionally where he held the Mexican national record for 12 years … brother, Paulo, competes in the pole vault at Kansas University, where he claimed the 2017 Indoor Big 12 Championship.

Jackie Miller

El Paso native, currently plays for Franklin High School … has appeared in 31 games, notched eight goals, one assist and tallied 17 points for the Cougars … plays for the Rush Select club team … claimed the New Mexico State Cup Championship with Rush Select in 2016 … member of the National Spanish Honor Society, student council and DECA … daughter of Joe Miller and Soledad Montes-Miller … has one brother, Joshua Miller … father, Joe, earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from UTEP in 1986.

Moe Sais

Competed with Lewisville High School (Lewisville, Texas) … earned All City Freshman of the Year honorable mention … named to the All-District first team during her junior and sophomore year … rated as the Texas Conference 2016 Top 25 leading scorer … DFW Area Top 25 with 18 assists … daughter of Rickey and Tiffany Sais … has one sister, Millena Sais.

Vanessa Cabello

Currently plays for Pasadena High School (Pasadena, Texas) … three year letterwinner for the varsity team, appearing in 33 games, scoring 24 goals, registering seven assists and tallying 55 points for the Eagles … played for the Rise Soccer Club … played at the Las Vegas Showcase, Capital Area Soccer Showcase and the Disney Showcase … daughter of Jose and Paulina Cabello … has three brothers, Alexandro, Oscar and Omar Cabello.

Lilly Marquez

A four-year varsity starter for White High School (Dallas, Texas) … appeared in 54 games, scoring 53 goals, posting 27 assists and tallying a staggering 133 points over her prep career … played for the Dallas Kicks club team … named All-District first team (2016, 2017) … club team MVP (2017) … Maxpreps/NSCAA Player of the Week and five-time Maxpreps Player of the Game (2016, 2017) … district 9-6A Co-Offensive MVP (2015-16) … Southern Region Futsal Team (2014) … daughter of Jeff Marquez and Adrienne Lariz … has two sisters, Crysta and Maegan Marquez.

Emily Parrott

Plays for the U-18/19 Solar Soccer Club (U.S. Soccer Development Academy) in Frisco, Texas … appeared in 43 games at goalkeeper, making 39 starts … helped the U16/17 team advance to the USSDA National Quarterfinals during the 2017-18 season … part of the ECNL National Championship team during the 2016-17 season, where she held 165 scoreless playoff minutes … played at Lone Star High School (Frisco, Texas), where she was named second team All-District during the 2015-16 season as a freshman and earned Newcomer of the Year … member of the first team to make it to the state playoffs and set a school record for single-season saves and shutouts … National Honors Society member (2016-19) and garnered Academic All-District awards (2015-17) … daughter of Cary and Kelli Parrott … has one sister, Taylor Parrott.

Adriana Lopez

El Paso native, Lopez currently plays for El Paso High … appeared in 79 games, scoring 75 goals, adding 45 assists and racking in a total of 195 points … a four-year starter for the varsity team … earned the Maxpreps/NSCAA Player of the Week during the 2017-18 season … three-time Maxpresps/NSCAA Player of the Game during the 2016-17 season … three-time All-District honoree  … daughter of Esperanza Lopez … has one brother and two sisters, Diego, Susana and Diana Lopez.

Raquel Houston

Currently plays for Midland High School (Midland, Texas) … appeared in 11 games during the 2017-18 season, scoring five goals, adding two assists and contributing 12 points … played for the D’feeters ECNL club team … member of the Spanish National Honors Society … daughter of Matthew and Laura Houston … has two sisters and one brother, Andrea Gomez, Chloe and Matteo Houston.

UTEP Names Kathryn Balogun Women’s Soccer Head Coach

Kathryn Balogun, who enjoyed record-setting seasons as the women’s soccer head coach at Texas Southern University over the last five years, has been named women’s soccer head coach at UTEP, Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Monday.

“We are excited to welcome Kathryn Balogun to the UTEP Miner Family,” Senter said. “Coach Balogun has a proven track record of doing more with less as a head women’s soccer coach. Her SWAC record while serving as the head coach at Texas Southern University was competitive. Under her leadership, the Texas Southern program increased team grade point averages and graduation rates. She has strong recruiting ties in the state of Texas and is committed to recruiting the best student athletes in our state and region. Kathryn has demonstrated experiences as a player, assistant coach and head coach. We are confident she can build a program that competes for and wins Conference USA Championships.”

“I would like to thank the Miner search committee for this opportunity, especially Director of Athletics Jim Senter and Assistant Athletic Director David Kooger,” Balogun said. “It is obvious that the Miner community shares many of the same values I do and I look forward to bringing excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community to the Sun City. I am extremely grateful for my time at Texas Southern and in the SWAC. I believe it has prepared me well for success at UTEP. Go Miners!”

“I am very pleased with the hire of Kathryn Balogun as our new Women’s Soccer Head Coach,” said Kooger, UTEP Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance and Women’s Soccer Sport Administrator. “Throughout the search process Kathryn stood out as someone who can elevate this program to the next level. Her passion for soccer and development of the overall student-athlete will be a great fit for UTEP Athletics. I’m excited to work with Kathryn and her new staff.”

Under Balogun’s leadership, the Tigers pitched eight shutouts during the 2014 season, scored 33 goals during the 2015 campaign and combined to post a sparkling 31-13-6 record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, while advancing to the league tournament every year. In each of the last two years, TSU lost to the eventual tournament champion on penalty kicks in the SWAC semifinals. Texas Southern finished 8-1-1 in league play in 2016.

The Tigers achieved the highest RPI in school history and posted school records for shutouts, goals scored and assists during the Balogun era.

Her first team All-SWAC players at TSU were midfielder Marlyn Campa (2015), defender Briana Norwood (2017 & 2018) and midfielder Kayla Smith (2017). In 2017, goalkeeper Tammy Syron was named the SWAC Freshman of the Year.

Off the field, Balogun worked to elevate the Tigers’ team grade point average more than a full point to 3.3 while graduating 100 percent of her student athletes. She also fundraised over $20,000 annually for the program.

Balogun previously served as an assistant coach at Alabama State (2011-13), a graduate assistant coach at Auburn University-Montgomery (2010-11), and an associate coach at Darlington Soccer Academy in Rome, Ga. (2008-10). Her stint at Auburn-Montgomery helped produce a top-25 team national ranking. While at Alabama State, she was appointed the NSCAA Assistant Coach of the Year for the Central Region (2013). The Lady Hornets won their first Eastern Division championship with an undefeated regular season league mark, and advanced to the first conference championship match in school history.

She also worked as an Assistant Athletic Trainer and Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Alabama State. Balogun was one of the founding assistant directors of the Proprioception Endurance Balance Agility (PEBA) strength and conditioning program during her time with Darlington Soccer Academy. She also has experience coaching with the Alabama Olympic Development Program.

She played at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., where she was a four-year starter from 2004-08. A three-time captain with the Camels, Balogun earned multiple second team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors. She was a member of conference regular season and tournament title teams and played in the NCAA Championships in 2005. She also played for the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a United States W-League team located in Virginia Beach, Va.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training from Campbell in 2008, and added a Masters of Education in Sports Management from Auburn University Montgomery in 2012. She was a Dean’s List student throughout her academic career and was named to the Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic Team.

Balogun is a member of the United States Soccer Federation, the National Soccer Coaches Athletic Association and the United Soccer Coaches.

Carleigh Simmons Named To C-USA All-Academic Second Team

IRVING, Texas – UTEP senior defender Carleigh Simmons was voted to the 2018 InTouch Credit Union C-USA Women’s Soccer All-Academic second team, the league office announced this week.

A total of 22 student-athletes were named to the C-USA All-Academic team.

Simmons was one of three seniors on the team to be a four-year starter, starting in all 19 games for the Miners. She registered two goals on the year, including a game-tying goal against Southern Miss (10/14). Simmons attributed two assists and tallied a total of six points on the season. She logged in over 1,526 minutes for the Orange and Blue.

The Texas native was also a standout in the classroom establishing a 3.94 GPA, majoring in mechanical engineering.

She is a three-time C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medalist (2016, 17, 18) and a three-time C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll (2016, 17, 18).

The defender closed out her career with over 4,900 minutes played over 77 games. She netted three goals, a whopping 12 assists and 18 total career points.

Jojo Ngongo Named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team

IRVING – UTEP freshman forward Jojo Ngongo was named to the 2018 Conference USA All-Freshman team, announced the league on Tuesday afternoon.

Ngongo is the 12th Miner to garner a spot on an all-conference freshman team. This is the second consecutive year UTEP lands a Miner on the team, Vic Bohdan was voted to the team last season.

The Canada native appeared in 16 games for the Miners, scoring three goal, notched two assists and combined for eight points on the season. She attempted nine total shots, putting four on goal to earn a 0.444 shot-on-goal percentage.

Ngongo earned 604 minutes of playing time. Her standout performance came against Charlotte (10/18), where she scored the game-winning goal.

UTEP Announces Change in Leadership With Soccer Program

UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Monday that soccer head coach Kevin Cross will not return for the 2019 season.  A national search will begin immediately to appoint his successor.

“We’d like to thank Kevin for all his hard work during 20-plus years at UTEP,” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.  “He built a regionally competitive program.  As we look to take the next step and contend for conference championships, we felt like it was best to move in a new direction.  We wish Kevin well in his future endeavors.”

“I am disappointed to be relieved of my duties as head soccer coach at UTEP after 21 years at UTEP and 18 years as the head coach,” Cross said.  “I would like to thank Veronica O’Brien for hiring me as an assistant coach in 1997, the year after the program began, and Bob Stull for hiring me as the head coach in 2001.  I also appreciate my staff, who is like family to me in Heather Clark who has been with me for 15 years and Jessie Pettit.  I have really loved my time at UTEP and the El Paso community has treated me great.  We have had a lot of success in the UTEP Soccer program, going 15 years in a row with winning records and amassing over 200 wins, all at UTEP.  We have played in three championship games and the second round of the NCAA tournament.  On top of that, we have had great success in the classroom and every player I have coached for four years has graduated.  I am looking forward to my next challenge in life and I am very appreciative of all that UTEP Soccer has given me.  I wish nothing but the best for UTEP Soccer as it is always going to be a part of my soul.  I am leaving UTEP Soccer with a heavy heart but I have been forced to move on.  I have given every ounce of energy to UTEP Soccer for the last 21 years, which is an incredible run.”

UTEP made one NCAA Tournament appearance under Cross’ leadership (2005), and the Miners reached the Conference USA Tournament championship match three times.

The Miners finished 8-11-0 in 2017 and 7-8-4 this season.  UTEP did not qualify for the Conference USA Tournament in three of the last four years, and five of the last nine.

Cross served as the Miners’ head coach since 2001 after spending four years (1997-2000) as an assistant to Veronica O’Brien.  In 18 years as head coach, he compiled a record of 212-127-27.

UTEP Soccer Closes 2018 Season With Draw Against UTSA

San Antonio, Texas- The UTEP women’s soccer team (7-8-4, 2-5-3) wrapped up the 2018 campaign battling to a hard-fought scoreless draw against UTSA (6-9-2, 2-6-2) on Sunday night.

“UTEP soccer battled very hard tonight against a spirited UTSA squad,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “To end the season undefeated in the last four games shows how much we have grown as a team. I am very appreciative of our team’s effort to close out the season. We will carry over this momentum into the 2019 campaign. I am also very thankful for our five seniors’ outstanding career. Payton Ross who set our career minutes played record tonight, Alyssa Palacios who set the career shutouts in goal, Carleigh Simmons our captain and four year starter, and Jodie and Sheridan Smith who have shown great character to comeback from major injuries to contribute to our team’s success this year.”

The Miners registered a total of five shots and four corner kicks on the night. Six players, Cayla Payne, Payton Ross, Kori Lewis, Nicole Pugsley, April Pate and Caley Leask managed to play all 110 minutes of the match.

Leask made her fifth start of the season, registering three saves on 17 shots faced.

The Roadrunners applied early pressure earning two shots along with a corner kick in the opening five minutes. Marianna Hernandez took a shot right in front of the goal but it was saved by Leask.

In the 17th minute Kam Fisher took a shot from 20 yards out forcing UTSA’s Michelle Cole to make her first save of the game. Fisher led the Miners with two shots, both forcing saves from Cole.

Natalie Valentine opened the second half putting a powerful shot on goal only to see UTSA’s goalkeeper make the save. The Miners defense held strong and blocked two consecutive shots from the Roadrunners in the closing minutes. Ross deflected a shot from UTSA’s Jordyn Lacy in the 80th minute.

Lewis had the best chance for the Miners to break the deadlock in the 83rd minute, controlling the ball on a counter attack and putting her shot just over the crossbar.

The Miners defense didn’t give up any easy shots in the overtime period, holding the Roadrunners to only five shots.

UTEP women’s soccer concluded the season in Conference USA with 10 points.

Miners Battle To A 2-2 Draw Against ODU

UTEP’s Anna Jimmerson (26’) and Lauren Crenshaw (44’) etched their names on the score sheet in a 2-2 draw against ODU on Sunday night.

ODU’s Natalie Johnson (5’) and Emily Roberts (79’) both netted a goal to keep the team’s hope of a playoff appearance alive.

“We came out and played aggressive against a very talented Old Dominion,” said UTEP soccer head coach Kevin Cross. “They [ODU] haven’t given up a goal in more than 500 minutes, so to get two against them really builds our confidence. Heading into next week is a tough game at UTSA, and we really want to end the season with win.”

The Miners (7-8-3, 2-5-2) registered 13 total shots, forcing ODU’s Jasmine Crawley to make six saves. UTEP added four corner kicks to its attacking efforts and drew eight fouls against the Monarchs (7-6-4, 4-3-2).

Sophomore Caley Leask made her fourth consecutive start for the Miners in front of the goal. She posted eight saves on the nights.

The Monarchs jumped out to the early lead with a ball headed past Leask by Johnson in the opening five minutes of the game. ODU tallied 25 shots, adding six corner kicks. The Monarchs didn’t let up on the pressure, getting three consecutive shots following the goal but the Miners’ defense held true.

The Monarchs nearly doubled their lead with a shot from Iris Achterhof that was saved off of the line by midfielder April Pate in the 22nd minute.

Jimmerson knotted things up with a spectacular header on goal. She scored her fourth of the season off of a 20-yard pass from Cayla Payne into the box. UTEP kept the pressure up with four more shot attempts at goal before finding the breakthrough in the 44th minute. Crenshaw earned a free kick just outside of the penalty area and with a precise kick, netted her seventh goal on the year.

ODU applied high pressure to the Miners defense, having most of its shot attempts (14) come in the second half. The Monarchs leveled the score at two with a goal from Roberts on a pass played in from Achterhof.

Both teams battled through overtime, both getting three attempts at goal. UTEP had its best opportunity to finish the game when Crenshaw opened up the field on a counter attack but pushed the ball just wide of the net in the 108th minute.

The Orange and Blue will wrap up the 2018 season with a road trip to UTSA on Friday, Oct. 26 slated for 6 p.m. MT.

Miners Triumph Over Charlotte 1-0; Senior Night Set for Sunday

Freshman Jojo Ngongo scored the game-winning goal (16’), getting UTEP back into the winner’s column with a 1-0 victory over Charlotte at University Field on Thursday night.

“Our defense really held strong tonight,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We faced a really tough Charlotte team and it took an entire team effort to pull out this big win. We’ve played well coming down the stretch, and we need to keep this momentum going. The atmosphere was really great with the UTEP band and the fans showing their support through the cold weather.”

UTEP (7-8-2, 2-5-1) snapped a five-game skid, including a tie against Southern Miss. Charlotte (8-6, 4-4) came into the game ranked eighth in the league, and was holding on to the final playoff spot.

Sophomore Caley Leask made her third start of the season in front of goal. The Canada native made six saves and recorded her first shutout on the year. She faced 20 shots from the 49ers, with the Miners giving up only four corners on the night. UTEP took only five shots, forcing Charlotte’s Abby Stapleton to make two saves.

The Orange and Blue got out to a fast start with Vic Bohdan taking a shot at goal early in the second minute of the game, earning a corner kick. Charlotte’s Sandra Geiselhart fired back with a shot of her own in the 11th minute, only to see Leask make a comfortable save.

Ngongo found the back of the net with a through ball played from Cayla Payne. The freshman netted her third goal of the season.

The best chance for the 49ers to tie things up came in the 26th minute. Sophie Sipprell fired the ball from 25-yards out, getting past Leask and rattling the crossbar.

Charlotte played an aggressive second half, attempting the bulk of its shots (14) and applying pressure to UTEP’s backline defense. The 49ers attempted five consecutive shots, with the Miners only giving up a corner kick in the 60th minute.

UTEP had to defend against a barrage of shot attempts in the closing 15 minutes. Charlotte’s Sipprell ripped another shot at goal in the 86th minute, watching Leask make another diving save.

The Orange and Blue will close out the home schedule with an important game against Old Dominion on Sunday at 6 p.m. MT. The match will feature “Senior Night” and will honor the five seniors (Alyssa Palacios, Jodie Enokson, Sheridan Smith, Carleigh Simmons and Payton Ross).

Tickets are $2 for everyone and may be purchased by calling 915-747-5234

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