Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
The UTEP soccer team (7-2-2, 2-0 C-USA)) will cap off a three-game roadswing by playing at UAB (2-3-3, 0-1 C-USA) at 6 p.m. MT Thursday and at Middle Tennessee (4-6-1, 1-1-1 C-USA) at 12 p.m. MT Sunday.
“This weekend will be a tough one against two very good teams on the road,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “UAB had a tough loss against FAU. We know they want to earn points this weekend. Then we will head to Middle Tennessee. We are their only opponent this weekend. This weekend will require a lot of grit in order to be successful in earning points on the road.”
The Miners are riding a three-match winning streak, including a come-from-behind 3-2 victory at Marshall on Sept. 26 last time out.
UTEP got two goals in a span of less than a minute early in the second half to help fuel a come-from-behind 3-2 victory at Marshall on Sept. 26. The Miners overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to secure their first win against the Thundering Herd in Huntington, W. Va., in 11 years.
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Series History Vs. UAB
UTEP is 5-6-3 against UAB, and is in search of its first win against the Blazers since 2012. Last year the Miners were tripped up at home, 2-1. UTEP toppled UAB, 2-1, on the road on Sept. 10, 2000, but it is 0-4-2 in Birmingham, Ala., since.
Quick Overview On UAB
UAB returned 16 letter winners, including six starters, from last year’s team (9-8-1, 6-4-0 C-USA). The Blazers are 2-3-3, 0-1-0, including a 2-1 home setback to Florida Atlantic last time out (9/29). Megan Hudgens paces the unit with three goals while Regan Kommor and Sha’nya Stephens also have two tallies.
Stella Kiss has been credited with a squad-best two assists. Johanna Popp and Eve Beyer have split time in net, yielding a total of eight goals in eight games.
Series History Vs. Middle Tennessee
UTEP is 2-3 against Middle Tennessee, with the Blue Raiders posting victories in each of the past two seasons. The Miners claimed two of the first three matches in the series, including a 4-1 road triumph on Oct. 16, 2016.
Quick Overview On Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee got off to a 3-1 start to the season, but it is 1-5-1 since. The Blue Raiders are 4-0-1 when scoring multiple goals in a game but 0-6-0 when failing to do so. They will be well rested for UTEP, having been idle since a 3-0 road setback at North Texas (9/29).
Payton DePriest has produced a squad-best seven goals while Hannah Tillett (four) and Mackenzie Bonham (three) have also gotten involved. Tillett also boasts a team-leading five helpers. Sydney Chalcraft has started 10 of 11 matches, making a total of 27 saves.
Special Start To C-USA Play
UTEP is off to a 2-0 start in C-USA action for the first time since 2011 and fifth occasion overall since joining the league. The Miners also previously achieved the feat in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
What A Difference A Year Makes
Eight league games remain on UTEP’s schedule, but it has already matched its win total for both overall (seven) and C-USA contests (two) from a year ago. The Miners are playing consistently well at both home (4-1-1) and on the road (3-1-1).
UTEP sports a +8 goal differential (20-12) while also staking advantages for both shots (154-128) and shots on goal (79-50).
Going Streaking Again
UTEP is enjoying its second three-game winning streak of the season. The Miners have outscored their foes, 8-3, during the current hot streak. It marks the first time since 2014 (W5, W3) that UTEP has had posted two separate winning streaks of at least three contests.
Offense Coming Alive
UTEP scored a season-high three goals against FIU (9/22) before matching that output at Marshall (9/26) last time out. It marks the first time since 2005 that the Miners have tallied at least three goals in each of their first two league contests.
Getting After It On Defense
UTEP has limited seven of its 11 foes to one goal or less, including recording three shutouts. The Miners also kept Southern Utah (9/8) without a shot on goal, marking the first time they’ve done that in 10 years.
We Must Protect This House
UTEP has won four straight home games and stands at 4-1-1 overall in University Field. UTEP has a +6 (12-6) goal differential in El Paso, including a +7 margin (9-2) during the four-match winning streak.
Continued Success In Nonconference Play
UTEP has posted a winning mark in nonconference play in 17 of the past 18 years, including finishing 5-2-2 in 2019. The exception during the nearly two-decade run of success came in 2017 (4-5-0).
The Miners will wrap up their three-game roadswing by playing at Middle Tennessee at 12 p.m. MT Sunday. UTEP will then have four of its final six league tilts at University Field.