EL PASO, Texas – Following eight non-conference games to start the season, UTEP soccer is set to begin the Conference USA slate this week at University Field.

The Miners (3-4-1) have won or played to a draw in four of their last five games and will host FIU (2-3) on Thursday at 7 p.m. and LA Tech (2-5-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Thursday will serve as the 915 Game for the soccer program, which yielded the largest crowds of the season previously for UTEP football (Aug. 27 vs. North Texas) and volleyball (Sept. 1 vs. New Mexico).

On Sunday, the 10 UTEP soccer seniors will be recognized for Senior Day. 

GAME COVERAGE

Each game this week will be broadcast live on C-USA TV. Live stats will be offered on SIDEARM Stats.

ABOUT FIU

The Panthers have had some of the worst scheduling luck of any team in the nation to this point, with a game at Miami on Sept.1 getting canceled and the previous two contests against Alabama A&M on Sept. 7 and at Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 11 being deemed no contests after the matches had already started due to lightning. FIU has remarkably similar statistics to the opposition on the year, scoring 10 goals and allowing 10 while taking 54 shots and yielding 54. Nikole Solis has been a dangerous option on the attack, scoring a team-high five goals. Catherine Rapp has two goals and is the only other player on the roster to register multiple on the campaign. Ithaisa Vinoly is the starting keeper and has a 1.83 goals against average with 17 saves and nine goals against on the year. She has faced 53 shots. FIU was picked 10th in the C-USA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

ABOUT LA TECH

LA Tech started the season 2-1-1 with wins over Abilene Christian and Murray State and a draw against Louisiana. Since then, the Lady Techsters have dropped four straight to Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Sam Houston and Little Rock. The team has been outscored 15-5 on the year with opponents registering 126 shots to 60 for LA Tech. Flavie Dube has two goals and Riley Bonadie a pair of assists to lead the way for the squad. Three different keepers have seen time in goal, with Sydnee Korchak receiving the bulk of the playing time and starting all seven matches. She has a 1.57 goals against average and has faced 104 shots while making 33 saves and yielding 11 goals. LA Tech was selected ninth in the C-USA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

SERIES HISTORY

The Miners are 3-1 against FIU overall and 2-0 in El Paso. LA Tech leads the all-time series 4-2-1 but has lost both meetings against UTEP at University Field.

BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS

UTEP blanked UIW and Nevada last week. The last time the Miners had posted back-to-back shutouts was late in the 2019 season against ODU and UTSA.

STRIVING FOR THREE STRAIGHT SHUTOUTS

UTEP last posted three straight shutouts in September of the 2016 season.

DUO TAKES HOME PLAYER OF THE WEEK ACCOLADES

Mariah Scott and Justice Tillotson were recognized as Conference USA Women’s Soccer Players of the Week presented by Blenders Eyewear on Tuesday by the league office. Scott was named Goalkeeper of the Week after she was the only keeper in C-USA to record multiple shutouts this past week. In a 2-0 blanking of UIW on Thursday, Scott faced 12 shots and made four saves. She followed that performance up with another shutout on Sunday against Mountain West foe Nevada, seeing eight shot attempts from the Wolf Pack and saving each one that was on frame. Scott has been instrumental in the success for UTEP against the MWC this season, yielding just one goal in three matches to give the Miners a 2-0-1 record in such games. Overall, Scott has three shutouts on the campaign. Tillotson played 166 of 180 minutes over the course of the back-to-back shutouts for the Miners last week. Previously a forward, she recently switched to left-back and has helped lead the Miners to a 3-1-1 mark over the last five contests. Tillotson played all 90 minutes in a 2-0 win over UIW on Thursday, highlighted by assisting on the final goal for UTEP that provided a late cushion on the way to the victory.

TESSA TIME

In the 2-0 win over UIW, Tessa Carlin scored her third goal of the season. She found the back of the net off a Mina Rodriguez corner and a Tillotson touch. Carlin also had an assist in the game after making a sliding play to win a ball near midfield.

OPENING CONFERENCE AT HOME

This is the fourth straight year that the Miners have started C-USA action at University Field, boasting a 2-1 mark over that stretch, including a 3-1 handling of FIU in 2019. UTEP is 2-0 all-time when opening league play against FIU.

SUPPORT LOCAL

Four members of the UTEP roster are from El Paso, including Daniele Tovar, Clarissa Gutierrez, Leslie Gutierrez and Bella Benavides. Additionally, Mina Rodriguez, Maia Rodriguez, Ashley Padilla and Elena Reyna each have family ties to the 915 and Taya Lopez is from Las Cruces, N.M. The 915 Game on Thursday is an opportunity for the city of El Paso and the surrounding areas to come together to support the local talent on the UTEP soccer team.

UTEP VS. THE MOUNTAIN WEST

It was a successful non-conference campaign for the Miners against the Mountain West, as the team went 2-0-1 against the likes of UNLV, Wyoming and Nevada. UTEP won both road games, knocking off the Rebels in Las Vegas and the Cowgirls in Laramie.