UTEP soccer sweeps Conference USA awards
El Paso, TX — The UTEP soccer team has swept the C-USA Women’s Soccer Player of the Week awards, with Lauren Katada (offense) & Keighton Allen (defense) being honored as announced by the league office Monday. The Miners went 2-0-0 at home over the weekend (W, 2-0 vs. UTSA, 10/25 & W, 2-1 vs. Colorado College, 10/27), to clinch not only a bid but also a first-round bye for the 2013 C-USA Women’s Soccer Championships (Nov. 4-10-hosted by Rice).
“UTEP Soccer is extremely honored that both Lauren and Keighton were selected as Conference USA players of the week,” head coach Kevin Cross said. “They both had an incredible weekend, and made UTEP Soccer very proud. I know both Keighton and Lauren would want to recognize the entire UTEP Soccer team because the whole team played a significant role in both of them achieving these individual awards. These two awards highlight one of UTEP Soccer’s best weekends ever.”
Katada scored in both matches while also assisting on the game-winning goal against the Tigers. She showed off her skills against UTSA by using some fancy dribbling and good effort to beat a couple of defenders and create open space. As she was prepared to rifle a shot, a Roadrunner defender tripped her, and the official was quick to award the PK. Katada calmly converted it to give UTEP the 2-0 lead.
In the match-up against the Tigers, who had been riding an 11-match unbeaten streak, Katada tied the contest at 1 with a precise strike on yet another PK. She was in the role of playmaker in the second half, setting up Angela Cutaia’s match winner on a set piece in the 63rd minute. She served a beautiful ball from the right wing, and Cutaia hammered home the header past a diving Kate Scheele with 27 minutes to play in regulation.
Allen, playing in place of the injured Sarah Dilling, delivered back-to-back solid performances to help the Miners pick up a pair of home wins. She earned her first career start on Oct. 25, turning away all four shots en route to registering a clean sheet in the 2-0 conquest of UTSA.
She then made two stops, including a leaping effort in the 88th minute against Colorado College, in the 2-1 victory on Oct. 27. The lone goal against her for the weekend came on a Tigers’ penalty kick. Allen also showed good skill in intercepting crosses into the area, in addition to being vocal to lead the defensive marking efforts.
The Miners will look to wrap up second place in the vaunted C-USA West Division by recording either a tie or win in a 12 p.m. MT match-up at North Texas Thursday.