Lauren Crenshaw | Photo by Michael Reese
The UTEP soccer team (9-6-3, 4-4-1 C-USA) will look to secure a bid to the 2019 Conference USA Championships when it plays host to UTSA (8-7-1, 4-5-0) on “Senior Night” at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We need you El Paso for our last home match,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “Not only will we celebrate our seniors but it will be a game to determine our season’s fate. UTSA will bring quality competition, making it a fun game to be a part of.”
UTEP went 1-1 on a roadswing through the Eastern Time Zone, including a 2-0 dispatching of Old Dominion on Oct. 27. Jojo Ngongo and Tessa Carlin each recorded a goal and an assist in the win, while Emily Parrott registered one save late in the first half on the way to posting her sixth shutout of the season.
The Miners are undefeated (6-0-2) in eight prior match-ups with UTSA, including most recently battling to a scoreless draw in San Antonio last year.
UTSA enters the match-up with UTEP at 8-7-1, 4-5-0 C-USA, putting it one point behind the Miners. The Roadrunners posted a 2-1 win at Charlotte on Oct. 27, ending the seven-match winning streak for the 49ers in the process. Ellis Patterson paces the team in goals (six), assists (six) and points (18). Lexi Bolton (four) and Deja Sandoval (four) have also been consistent scorers. Sophie Milich and Jill Schneider have split the time in net, combining for 54 saves and five shutouts.
UTEP enters Friday’s match-up in a three-way tie for sixth place in the C-USA standings. While there are a lot of possibilities, the simplest way to look at it from the Miners’ perspective is that a win gets them into the 2019 C-USA Championships. The top-eight showing would be UTEP’s first since 2016.
That year as a seventh seed the Orange and Blue sprung the upset on second-seeded Rice to advance to the C-USA semifinals.
UTEP heads into its regular-season finale with a mark of 9-6-3, 4-4-1 C-USA. The effort has allowed the Miners to surpass their win total for both overall and C-USA contests from a year ago (7-8-4, 2-5-3). UTEP has a chance at its first double-digit win total since 2016, which was also the last time it qualified for the C-USA Championships. It can accomplish both with a victory against UTSA on Friday.
The Miners picked up a crucial 2-0 win at ODU on Oct. 27, which allowed the Miners to conclude this year with a road record of 4-3-2. It marks the first winning road record at the school since 2016 (5-4-2).
All tickets are $3 as part of “Fan Appreciation Night,” and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.