Kam Fisher | Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
Behind goals from Lauren Crenshaw (45′) and Kam Fisher (79′), the UTEP soccer team rallied past previously undefeated Texas State for a 2-1 win at University Field Friday evening.
Emerson Kidd and Jogo Ngongo were credited with assists for the Miners (2-1-2), who pushed their unbeaten streak to three by handing the Bobcats (4-1) their first loss of the year. Freshman GK Emily Parrott recorded three saves to pick up the win. UTEP had a 14-10 advantage in shots, including 8-4 in shots on goal.
Mackenzie Smith (20′) scored for the visitors.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “We found ourselves down, but we didn’t panic and found a way to dig one out in the last minute of the first half. We then got one in the second half. Texas State put us under a lot of pressure, but we handled it well. The team has showed continuous improvement to handle pressure when teams bring it. I’m really pleased with that.”
A great thru ball into space sent Ngongo in from the left wing in the 11th minute. She controlled the pass and sent the shot in on net where it was corralled by Heather Martin in the 11th minute.
The visitors struck first with a goal off a corner kick in the 20th minute. Renny Moore’s service into the area was hammered home on a header by Smith, putting the Miners down 1-0.
Parrott recorded her first save of the match by fighting off a shot from Jordan Kondikoff in the 33rd minute. UTEP then went on the offensive in search of the equalizer but Jackie Soto was denied by Martin. Seven minutes late Soto was on the attack again. She tracked down a long pass only to have her sliding shot attempt turned away by Martin, who flew off the line to prevent a complete breakaway.
The Miners’ persistent pressure paid off with the game-tying goal in the final minute of the half. Off a free kick Kidd’s left-footed service into the box was headed off the crossbar by Adriana Lopez. In the scramble to clear the ball, the Bobcats dragged down a Miner player in the box to set up a penalty kick. Crenshaw stepped to the spot and calmly blasted the shot into the right corner to pull her squad even.
UTEP continued to force the issue at the onset of the second half, earning a corner kick and registering two shots two minutes into the frame. Ayana Noel directed one on target that was gobbled up by Martin in the 52nd minute. Soto’s header was stopped in the 59th minute.
Parrott did well to stave off a heavy shot from Kaylee Davis in the 61st minute. The home side was back on the offensive with a one-time shot from Soto requiring a leaping save from Martin in the 70th minute. She punched it over the frame, and UTEP was unable to take advantage on the ensuing corner kick.
UTEP broke through for the go-ahead tally in the 79th minute. Kidd sent the ball ahead to Ngongo, who took it to the left corner of the box. She drew in the defense and crossed it to a streaking Fisher, who one-timed it home past a diving Martin.
The Miners showed poise and class in closing out Texas State. UTEP played balls to the corner and emphasized possession to limit Texas State to one shot one goal in the final 12 minutes of action.
The Miners will wrap up the weekend at home by playing host to Southern Utah at 12 p.m. MT Sunday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids.
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 UTEPMiners.com.