UTEP soccer to host NMSU in Battle of I-10
El Paso, TX — The UTEP soccer team will play host to New Mexico State in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I—10 at 7 p.m. at University Field Wednesday. There is free admission to the contest, and as part of “Student Appreciation Night” the first 100 UTEP students will receive sunglasses.
The Miners (1-0-1) will be looking to maintain an unblemished record both on the year and in the series against the Aggies (0-2-0). UTEP posted home wins in both 2009 and 2011 while securing a road triumph in 2012. The contest in 2011 was cancelled due to lightning, and the two squads did not meet last year.
“We really appreciated the phenomenal turnout at home against Texas State,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We need our awesome fans to come out again for our home Battle of I-10 versus NM State on Wednesday night. We need our 12th man again!”
UTEP battled Texas State to a scoreless draw in the 2014 season opener on Aug. 22 before taking out Abilene Christian, 1-0, in overtime on the road on Aug. 26. Senior Mackenzie German provided the match winner off a feed from sophomore Bri Barreiro against the Wildcats but the story through two tilts has been quality team defense and timely saves by senior Sarah Dilling.
The Miners have posted back-to-back shutouts to start the year for the first time 2011 and the fourth occasion in program history. The Orange and Blue notched consecutive blankings in 1997 while stringing together three straight at the onset of both the 2008 and 2011 campaigns.
UTEP has yielded a combined five shots on goal, which ties the 2008 squad for the second-lowest total through two matches at the school. The 1997 edition of the Miners conceded just one in the first two tilts before allowing 12 shots on goal in the third contest of the campaign.
Both games have gone to overtime, the first such start to a season in program annals. Overall it is the sixth time at the school that there have been consecutive overtime contests. It previously happened in 1997, 2001, 2004, 2011 and 2013. The Miners have never played three straight overtime tilts.
The Aggies enter the contest at 0-2-0, falling at Loyola Marymount, 3-1, in their opener on Aug. 22 before being upended by Texas State at home, 2-1, on Aug. 23. Jannae Cambra has scored both of the goals on the year while Layla Todd and Holly Abdelkader have each registered an assist. Taylor Hammack has played all 180 minutes in net, recording 10 saves on 15 shots faced.
NM State has been outshot, 30-17, while also being at a disadvantage in corner kicks (13-7) but it has managed to play disciplined soccer in terms of fouls. The opposition has been whistled for 18 infractions compared to just 10 on the Aggies.