The UTEP soccer team (3-10, 1-5 C-USA) had a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal but it couldn’t overcome a two-goal deficit at the half in an eventual 2-0 loss at Middle Tennessee (8-5-1, 4-2 C-USA) Friday.
Peyton DePriest (39′) and Lykke Kirstine (45′) scored for the home side. Mariah Scott was credited with two saves for the Miners while Hannah Suder came up with six stops. UTEP held a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal, and it also had a bit of back luck. Suder made a save on a PK, and there was also a shot off the post.
UTEP generated the first chance of the contest in the ninth minute, when Jojo Ngongo unleashed a shot from outside the box. It forced Suder into making a diving stop. MT then went on the offensive where Elizabeth Slavinsky tested Scott, who cleanly handled a long-distance shot.
Both teams battled for possession and to create scoring opportunities as the half wore on. A string of passes set up Jackie Soto in the 29th minute, but Suder turned it away. In the 31st minute, Scott denied Eleanor Gough to keep the match scoreless.
The home side broke through with a goal from Peyton DePriest in the 39th minute. A pass sent her in alone on Scott, who flew off the line to cut down the angle. DePriest saw her coming, though, and snuck the shot past her.
The Orange and Blue responded well, with Soto vying for the equalizer in the 42nd minute. Once again, however, the shot was stopped by Suder.
A bit of bad luck struck the Miners late in the stanza, with a foul in the box coming with just 31 seconds remaining in the period affording Middle Tennessee a penalty kick. Lykke Kirstine stood over the ball and managed to tuck it away past the outstretched hands of a diving Scott.
The Miners came out with great energy to start the second half. They earned a penalty kick two minutes into the stanza, but Ayana Noel’s try was stopped by Suder. UTEP then had a shot from Cayman Tamez that was corralled in the 51st minute.
UTEP had another golden opportunity in the 63rd minute. Ngongo beat Suder with the shot only to have it clank off the crossbar. The Miners secured a corner kick in the 70th minute, but they couldn’t convert.
Vic Bohdan unleashed a shot from the top of the box in the 85th minute, but Suder smothered the shot. Three minutes later, it was Molly Sutherland who was streaking up the left wing. Suder made a diving stop.
The Miners will wrap up the weekend with a match at WKU (9-2, 4-1 C-USA) 12 p.m. MT Sunday (Oct. 17). The contest at WKU will be designated as a nonconference match. It will be streamed with live stats also available.