UTEP Falls At UCR In Overtime, 3-2
The UTEP soccer team was edged at UCR, 3-2, in overtime Sunday afternoon.
The Miners (4-2) vaulted out to a 2-0 lead behind goals by Tess Hall (28:46)-on a penalty kick- and Skye Schultz (39:40) only to have the homestanding Highlanders (3-2-1) account for the game’s final three tallies, including Jessica Cortez’s OT tally at 97:26.
Celina Valencia dashed the aspirations of a UTEP shutout with a goal late in the first half (43:58) while Andrea Morales pulled the home side even at 77:25. The Miners kept things together, intent on finding the match winner as action switched to the extra period.
UTEP had the first good chance, with Hall’s shot at 93:53 being deflected over the end line. UTEP couldn’t convert on the ensuing corner kick, though. Four minutes later, Cortez snuck the shot past Sarah Dilling from six yards.
Dilling was credited with six saves in the contest, all in the second stanza. UCR netminder Jessica White registered a pair of stops.
In addition to her team-leading fifth goal of the season, Hall contributed an assist on the score by Schultz. It marked the 21st helper of her career, placing her fifth all time at the school. She is only nine off the school standard (30), which is held by former UTEP star and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Kelly Parker.
In terms of Schultz, it marked her initial goal since the 2010 season. She missed all of last year with an injury, but is off to a great start this year, compiling five points (1 goal, three assists) thus far.
It was all UTEP early on, with the Orange and Blue dictating tempo and the pace of play. The effort would result in a pair of goals in a span of 11 minutes. A Miner was dragged down in the box in the 28th minute, setting up a penalty kick.
Hall calmly converted the shot to put UTEP up 1-0. The Miners quickly extended the lead to 2-0, this time with Hall serving as a playmaker. Off a free kick from 30 yards out, she lofted a ball into the area. Schultz timed the run well and headed home a shot past White.
To their credit, the Highlanders recovered to trim the deficit to 2-1 before halftime. Off a free kick, the ball was served into the area where Valencia bested Dilling from about one yard out.
Dilling preserved the 2-1 by delivering two saves in the first nine minutes of the second stanza. UTEP then went back on the offensive, but Jade Babcock’s shot was stopped by White at 60:05.
UCR started to ramp up its intensity on offense, but Dilling came through with three saves in a six-minute span. The Miners generated a chance of their own in the sequence, but Mackenzie German’s shot sailed high at 68:39.
The Highlanders finally managed to get even with 13 minutes to play. UTEP continued to play hard down the stretch and into the extra session, but ultimately came up short.
The Miners will return to action with a pair of home matches this week as part of the third-annual Border Bash. UTEP is slated to challenge Weber State at 7 p.m. MT Friday while locking up with Sam Houston State at 12 p.m. MT on Sept. 9. It will be “Fiesta Night”, with all fans who wear a sombrero getting in free for Friday’s tilt. “Kids Club Day/Take A Kid To A Game Day” highlights the promotions for the tilt on Sept. 9. Fans who wear any soccer jersey or a kids club shirt get in free. Additionally, kids get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket.