Jojo Ngongo | Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez – UTEP
The UTEP soccer team (3-8, 1-3 C-USA) will look to regain its winning ways when it squares off with Florida Atlantic (3-5-4, 1-1-2 C-USA) at University Field at 7 p.m. MT Saturday (Oct. 9).
“Saturday is another opportunity for our program to get a positive result,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “Our side of C-USA is only separated from top to bottom by four points. No matter where we fall, we will continue to put in the work. We will believe in our process and our program.”
The Miners are searching for their second win in the past three games.
Tickets for the contest are $8 and can be purchased through the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing email@example.com, going online or in person at 201 Glory Road (Brumbelow Building, UTEP campus) Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Group tickets are also available for $5 (minimum of 10 tickets).
UTEP is officially at the halfway point of Conference USA play. The Miners stand 1-3 in the league through four contests, with two home and two road matches remaining. UTEP still has a chance at a top-five finish in the C-USA West Division, which would send it to the league championships for the second time in three years under head coach Kathryn Balogun. There are officially five games left on the schedule, but one of them (at WKU) is being played as nonconference.
UTEP enters the weekend in a three-way tie for fifth place in the C-USA West Division, sharing it with LA Tech and UTSA at 1-3. The possibilities are endless, though, with only three points (one win) separating second and fifth place in the West heading into the Miners’ match-up with Florida Atlantic. Furthermore, four total points is the difference between first and last in the C-USA West Division.
Jojo In The Clutch
Junior Jojo Ngongo has tallied three goals this year, with two of them serving as match winners. That effort rates her third for game-winning goal sin C-USA for and 86th in the country.
Nine of UTEP’s 11 games this year have been decided by one goal, with the Miners standing 3-6 in the situation. If they can remedy that down the stretch, the Orange and Blue will be an even more difficult team for opponents to deal with.
Palmen Moving Up The Charts
True freshman Luisa Palmen has produced at least five saves in three straight games and five times total on the season. Overall, she has been credited with a team-best 42 stops. That figure is currently good enough for ninth among freshmen goalkeepers in the UTEP single-season charts by class. She is also third in Conference USA at 4.7 saves per match.
Sharing Is Caring
UTEP is fourth in Conference USA and 113th nationally with 1.36 assists per game. The Miners have accumulated 15 assists on 10 goals this year. Kam Fisher (three) leads the way, followed by two each from Vic Bohdan, Molly Sutherland and Cayman Tamez. The rankings are indicative of the possession-based style of play that the Miners have deployed on the campaign, with goals coming from a quality string of passes.
Junior Jojo Ngongo (three goals) and senior Jackie Soto (three goals) share the team lead for goals, while Vic Bohdan (two) also has multiple strikes on the season. Kam Fisher (three) tops the team in assists. Bohdan paces the Orange and Blue for shots (17), while she shares the top spot for shots on goal (seven) with Ngongo.
Twenty six different Miners have earned playing time this season, with 14 of them appearing in all 10 matches. There have also been 18 Miners to secure at least one start, with 10 starting at least eight contests.
The 411 On FAU
Florida Atlantic is 3-5-4 on the year, including 1-1-2 in C-USA action. It is on a three-game (0-1-2) winless skid, including most recently falling, 1-0, at Middle Tennessee on Oct. 1. Bri Austin and Miracle Porter lead the way offensively with three goals each. Mia Sennes (two goals) also has multiple tallies. Hunter Koziara has been credited with a squad-best three assists. Amit Cohen has started all 12 matches in goal, recording 49 saves to go along with a pair of shutouts.
UTEP is 3-2 against Florida Atlantic, but the two squads have not squared off since the 2017 season. The Miners won the first three meetings, but the Owls have emerged victorious in the prior two tilts. This will be FAU’s first trip to El Paso since 2016.
Living On The Road
For the second straight season, UTEP will have more road games than home match-ups. Overall this year the Miners will play 10 contests outside of El Paso (nine road, one neutral) compared to six home tilts, marking the second straight year that UTEP will have more road games than home match-ups during the regular season.
Quick Rundown On UTEP
UTEP returned 23 letter winners from last year’s team (3-6-2, 2-3-1 C-USA), including nine starters. The Miners also added six newcomers. The Orange and Blue are under the direction of third-year head coach Kathryn Balogun, who sports a mark of 16-21-5 in the Sun City, including 3-8 this year.