The UTEP soccer team fought hard only to be upended at home, 1-0, by WKU Thursday evening.
The Miners (7-4-3, 2-2-1 C-USA) had a 7-6 edge for shots on goal against the Lady Toppers (7-4-1, 3-2-2 C-USA) but couldn’t find a way to beat Anne-Marie Ulliac. Emily Parrott delivered five saves, with her lone blemish coming on a try from Ansley Cate (52′) seven minutes into the second half.
UTEP controlled the opening 45 minutes, holding advantages in both shots (10-5) and shots on goal (6-1). The visitors survived the onslaught and snuck away with the win after Cate’s second-half tally.
“I thought the girls came out really strong,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “Unfortunately we didn’t come out as strong in the second half and we keep giving up set-piece goals. It didn’t happen tonight. We’re going to keep pushing and keep working because this is a good team.”
WKU generated a pair of shots in the first six minutes, both of which were blocked. The Miners then went searching for a goal with Lauren Crenshaw’s shot being saved by Ulliac in the ninth minute. Jackie Miller also let loose from distance, forcing Ulliac into a save in the 18th minute.
Danielle Carreon took a shot from inside the box that appeared destined for the back of the net but Ulliac came flying over for a diving save in the 20th minute. The GK also fought off a header from Emerson Kidd on the ensuing corner kick. Three minutes later it was a half-volley by Adrianna Jimmerson that was stopped. In the 29th minute Crenshaw unleashed a blast that required a diving stop by Ulliac.
WKU’s Aleksandra Kozovic rifled a shot that scooted along the ground, but Parrott tracked it well to make the save in the 33rd minute. The Miners had a chance wiped out due to an offside call in the 40th minute and Kam Fisher’s shot was blocked by the defense in the 43rd minute.
The visitors got on the board in the second half off a scramble from a free kick. The ball was in the box where it was headed to Cate, who bested Parrott with a sneaky shot in the 52nd minute. Four minutes later UTEP was vying for the equalizer, but Tessa Carlin was turned away by Ulliac.
There was a wild sequence in the 60th minute, with WKU taking three shots in 20 seconds. Two of them clanked off the crossbar while another was blocked by the Miners’ defense. Carlin had a good look in the 69th minute, but it whistled high.
Parrott kept the Orange and Blue in striking distance by making two fantastic saves in the final 10 minutes of the match. She delivered a leaping stop to punch a shot by Ambere Barnett over the bar in the 82nd minute. She then made a diving stop on a try by Sydney Ernst in the 83rd minute.
UTEP tried to work the ball up the pitch in the waning minutes to secure the equalizer, but it didn’t come to fruition. The best chance came off a corner kick, with a Carreon shot ending up wide in the final minute of action.
The Miners will play host to LA Tech (7 p.m., Oct. 17) in the second of three straight home contests. The homestand will conclude against Southern Miss (12 p.m., Oct. 20).
For complete coverage of UTEP soccer, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoccer (Twitter), @UTEPMinersSoccer (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.