UTEP will play host to Army in the championship contest of the 13th-annual Border Shootout at University Field at 11 a.m. MT Sunday. It will be “Hawaiian Day,” with fans who wear a Hawaiian shirt getting in free. Otherwise, tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for kids and UTEP students get in free by showing their new gold card at the ticket table.
The Miners (2-1) kicked off play at the 2012 edition of the event in fine fashion by toppling Texas State, 3-1, in their home opener Aug. 22. The Black Knights (2-1), the defending Patriot League champions and 2011 NCAA Tournament participant, set up the showdown in the final by taking down the Bobcats, 2-1, Aug. 25.
“It’s a great honor to host Army,” head coach Kevin Cross said. “They are the reigning Patriot League champions and were in the NCAA Tournament last year. We will have to be at our best to win the Border Shootout championship.”
UTEP’s offense has produced six goals through three tilts, with senior Tess Hall leading the way with a trio of tallies Mackenzie German, Brittany Kindzierski and Azia Nicholson also have found the back of the net while Jade Babcock, Tori Martyn, Nicholson and Skye Schultz have registered a pair of helpers.
Sophomore GK Sarah Dilling has logged all 270:00 minutes of action in net, contributing six saves. Part of the reason for the low save sum is the fact that the Miners are out-shooting the opposition, 58-28, including 30-11 in shots in goal.
The match-up against Army will mark the end of a season-opening stretch of four straight games against defending conference champions. A victory would put UTEP at 3-1, while also extending its unbeaten streak in the Border Shootout to 15 matches. The Miners are 13-0-1 at the tournament since 2004, out-scoring the opposition by a count of 46-8 in those contests.
Army offers plenty of challenges, though, starting in the form of a striker Joey Molacek. She has tallied half of the squad’s six goals on the campaign, including both in its victory against Texas State. Katie Holder has shown good distribution skills with a team-best two helpers.
The Black Knights’ defense has yielded only five goals, with netminders Linda Rosas and Jessica McAllister combining on 17 saves.