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.