Photo by Andres Acosta | El Paso Herald Post

UTEP Soccer opens home slate vs NM State Thursday Night

UTEP soccer team will host I-10 rival NM State to open the home portion of the schedule Thursday night.

The Miners (0-2-0) and Aggies (0-1-0) are set to kickoff at 7 p.m. at University Field.

“We are excited for our home opener. The last three game we have had the majority of the possession but it is now time for us to get better results when we have the ball,” said second-year UTEP Head Coach Kathryn Balogun. “With the season shortened we don’t have as much time to build into a rhythm and with conference only six games, we need to make sure we are on point every game.”

The Miners are coming off of losses to a pair of Pac-12 schools last week. In the season opener, UTEP fell at Arizona State, 3-1, on Feb. 4 as junior Anaya Noel scored her second career goal in the 88’. Junior Kam Fisher provided the assist, the second of her career. Sophomore Emily Parrott started at goalkeeper, tallying a save in 90 minutes of action.

UTEP took a 2-0 loss at Arizona on Sunday. Transfer sophomore Mariah Scott started at goalkeeper, the first of her UTEP career. Scott tallied six saves in 90 minutes. The Wildcats outshot the Miners, 12-3.

NM State fell in its season opener, 4-0, at Arizona State on Feb. 7. The Aggies held their own, taking a 1-0 deficit in the locker room, but allowed three second-half goals. Starting goalkeeper Makenna Gottschalk allowed one goal and tallied four saves, while backup goalkeeper Dmitri Fong allowed three goals with one save.

Last season, UTEP defeated NM State, 2-1 (2OT), in Las Cruces. The Aggies took a 1-0 lead in the 19’ but Jojo Ngongo tied the match in the 74’ off assists from Adrianna Jimmerson and Emerson Kidd. Lauren Crenshaw tallied the unassisted golden goal in the 106’.

The Miners are 8-1 versus the Aggies all-time. NM State’s lone win came on Aug. 18, 2017, by the score of 2-1 (2OT) in Las Cruces.

Most recently, NM State defeated UTEP, 3-1, in an exhibition match at University Field on Jan. 29. Ngongo scored the Miners’ lone goal.

“NMSU did a good job of capitalizing on our mistakes in our first meeting in an exhibition a few weeks ago,” Balogun said. “We need to be dialed in in those moments when things don’t go as planned to prevent putting ourselves in compromising situations. As coach [Stewart Givens] always says, ‘it’s not always the mistake but our response to the mistake that matters going forward.’ We need a good response this weekend at University Field.”

Season and single-game tickets are available now online. Limited quantities will be sold to ensure that social distancing can be practiced at the venue.

For complete coverage of UTEP Soccer, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoccer (Twitter), @utepminerssoccer (Instagram) and on Facebook or click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.