Aleah Davis (46:02) and Bri Thomas (73:51) scored second-half goals while Alyssa Palacios matched her season high with eight saves in a 2-0 vanquishing of Wyoming at University Field Friday evening. The Miners (3-0-2) remain flawless through five games while handing the Mountain West Conference Cowgirls (2-2-2) their second straight setback.
Lauren Crenshaw and Kennnadie Chaudhary were credited with helpers on the goal by Davis while Thomas’s tally was unassisted.
Wyoming held a 21-11 edge in total shots but good pressure by the Orange and Blue led to a total of eight shots on goal for the visitors. The Miners posted six shots on frame, with Georgia Rowntree recording a quartet a shots. Wyoming had a slight edge in corner kicks, 6-5.
“Wyoming is a very good team and this is a good result,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “I felt we made some adjustments at the end of the first half and kept that going in the second half; we got real fired up and got that early goal.”
There was good positioning and patience by both sides early on in the action. UTEP created a good look on a corner kick service by Nicole Lindsay in the 23rd minute which found Thomas. She laced a shot but it whistled just high.
Eleven minutes later there was a highlight-reel move to deke the defender by Jeanna Mullen. She then raced up the pitch but the cross couldn’t find a home. In the 41st minute it was Thomas with a quality cross to Bri Barreiro. The senior settled the ball and lifted a high-arching shot on target but it was turned away.
UTEP’s pressure carried over to the second half, and the Cowgirls had no answer. Crenshaw sent things into the area where Chaudhary managed to redirect it to Davis. The senior then hammered home a shot that snuck in under the upper left corner.
Wyoming tried to get its attack going in the 56th minute but tremendous anticipation by Payton Ross led to her jumping the thru ball, effectively cutting it off before starting a counter attack.
In the 60th minute there was a big-time save by Palacios. Off a corner kick that had Palacios moving from left to right, she was forced to dive back against the grain to make a brilliant save to rob Alisha Bass’s header.
Thomas gave the Orange and Blue some much-needed breathing room in the 74th minute. She hit a rocket into upper 90’s territory for the highlight-reel and team-leading fourth goal of the season.
For good measure Palacios displayed picture-perfect technique to punch a header try by Shaina Ashouri over the frame. The Orange and Blue then cleared the ensuing corner.
UTEP will have a quick turnaround with Texas State invading El Paso for a 12 p.m. kickoff on Sunday. There will be free doughnuts (while supplies last) courtesy of Krispy Kreme vs. the Bobcats (2-1-1) as part of the “Go Nuts For Doughnuts” promo.