LAS CRUCES, N.M.– Sophomore Danielle Carreon scored her second career goal (31’) while junior Alyssa Palacios recorded five saves but homstanding NM State received goals from Devin Hart (87’) and Audriana Chavez (105’) to post a 2-1 double overtime win in the First Light Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10.
Vic Bohdan was credited with an assist on Carreon’s tally, which gave the Miners a 1-0 lead midway through the first half. Palacios and company looked to make it stand up but the home side, spurred on by 1,020 fans, found the equalizer with about three minutes to play in regulation and then won it in the second overtime period.
The Miners started seven underclassmen (four freshmen and three sophomores).
“I’m just really disappointed,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “You know we had the game with three minutes left. That’s a tough way to lose to give up a late goal and lose in double overtime. We have no excuses. Abilene Christian (Sunday’s opponent) works their tails off so we are going to have to work harder.”
The Aggies earned a pair of corner kicks in the first six minutes but the Miner stop troops held strong and didn’t yield a shot in the sequence. UTEP then launched a counter attack that led to a great chance for Natalie Valentine in the eight minute. She timed her run perfectly to get in behind the defense but her shot eked just wide of the frame.
In the 13th minute a good look by Jeanna Mullen forced NM State GK Dmitri Fong to block it wide, setting up a Miner corner kick but NM State defend. Four minutes later another rush by the Orange and Blue was wipe out by an offside call.
The homeside came up with a good sequence to register two shots on frame but Palacios delivered two stellar saves in a span of a minute to keep the match scoreless. The Miners were determined to change that, and did just that eight minutes later.
Off a cross, Bohdan found a streaking Carreon who buried it past a helpless Fong to put the Miners on the board. UTEP nearly made it 2-0 in the waning minutes of the stanza but Fong punched away a service off a free kick.
The two sides traded offensive opportunities over the first 15 minutes of the second half with both keepers called upon to make a pair of saves. Also of note in that time was sweeper Payton Ross, who had played every minute of every match her first two years in a UTEP uniform, being forced to sub off due to a health issue.
Play settled down then, with neither side again recording a shot on goal until the 77th minute when Anna Jimmerson’s rocket was pushed away by Fong. Devyn Hunley then sent the ensuing corner kick, one of five in the game for the Orange and Blue, into the area but it was not to be.
The Aggies managed one final rush late and came up with the equalizer before eventually also netting the golden goal.
The Miners will wrap up the opening weekend of action by playing host to Abilene Christian in their home opener at 1 p.m. Sunday. It will be the “Camper Reunion” game, with Miner soccer academy members getting in free. There will also be posters given away, prize packs, autographed gear and mini soccer balls.
The contest marks the start of a three-game homestand, with CSU Bakersfield (Aug. 25) and New Mexico (Aug. 27) also on tap.