The UTEP Soccer (6-4-1) team beat rival team NM State Aggies (1-9) 4-1 to win the Battle of I-10 Sunday night at University Field.
Natalie Valentine, Anna Jimmerson, Vic Bohdan and Hayley Vaughan all contributed to Sunday night’s win with a goal each. The sole goal for the Aggies came from a penalty kick taken by Katie Martinez.
“It was good response after a tough loss on Thursday,” said UTEP head coach Kevin Cross. “This was a big win for us especially for it being a rivalry game. The crowd was phenomenal, the American Outlaws came out banging their drums giving the team motivation tonight.”
The Miners wasted no time with Valentine scoring the 10th-fastest goal in program history at the 1:58 minute mark.
The first half was action packed with both teams playing hard and strong. The Miners outshot the Aggies 11-9, but it was a battle between the teams with a total of 14 fouls in the first half. The Miner defense blocked many of the shots taken by NM State.
Bohdan scored her fourth goal (39’) of the season by dribbling past the defenders into the box and putting the ball away.
Shortly after, a hand ball was called inside the Miner box that resulted in a penalty kick for the Aggies.
The third goal for the Miners came just seconds before the end of the first half. Jojo Ngongo chased a ball to the end line. She then passed it back into the box for Vaughan (45’) to tap it into the goal.
The second half was another hard-fought half. The Miners took 10 shots to the Aggies’ six. The UTEP defense was not letting anything get by them. In the 75th minute, Kori Lewis chased down an Aggie forward and made a big tackle inside the box.
Late into the second half, in the 80th minute there was a thrilling moment when Valentine put the ball in the back of the net and the crowd went wild. Unfortunately, the goal was disallowed when the play was called offside. Moments later she was hungry to get that goal back but shot the ball over the net.
Jimmerson put the icing on the cake with a goal of her own in the 88th minute. A UTEP defender cleared the ball over the Aggie defense for Jimmerson to chase down and put it past the keeper.
The Orange and Blue will continue Conference USA play at home against UAB on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at University Field. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling 915-747-5234.