EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Seventh-seeded UTEP will face second-seeded and host North Texas in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Conference USA Women’s Soccer Championships at 6 p.m. MT Wednesday. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+. It marks the first appearance for the Miners at the league’s pinnacle event since 2016.
“We are excited to be heading back to the tournament,” UTEP head coach Kathryn Balogun said. “So much credit goes to the team for staying true to the process. We never have control of the outcomes, but they have taken full responsibility for our daily process. The daily process is what has earned them the opportunity to play North Texas. North Texas will be a tough team. They have a lot of experience and success in the tournament. They also are defending their home field and title. However, all the pressure is on them. No one thought we would be here. We were ranked 13th of 14 in preseason rankings, and even during the season we received no player of the week awards. No one expects this group to be successful, and that is just how we like it. This group thrives as the underdog. You will see a group who will give their all continuing to represent themselves, the program, the school and El Paso.”
Looking In The Rearview Mirror
Tessa Carlin (82’) scored late in the second half as the UTEP soccer team bested UTSA, 1-0, on “Senior Night” at University Field on Nov. 1.
Series History Vs. North Texas
North Texas leads the series, 6-1, including a mark of 4-0 when playing in Denton. The two squads last squared off in 2017, which was claimed by UNT, 3-1.
Quick Overview On North Texas
North Texas compiled a record of 12-5-1 during the regular season, including 7-2-1 in C-USA action to earn the second seed at the 2019 C-USA Women’s Soccer Championships. UNT finished 9-0 at home, outscoring foes, 24-1, in those contests. The Mean Green are riding a six-match shutout streak in Denton. Furthermore, North Texas is 24-0-3 at home dating to early in the 2017 season. Its last home setback came to Texas on Aug. 27, 2017. In 2019, UNT has outscored foes, 36-11. Berklee Peters is the top threat with 11 goals (third C-USA/35th NCAA) and two assists for 24 points (third C-USA/67th NCAA). UNT takes 8.7 shots on goal per game (first C-USA/13th NCAA). It also leads the league and is 24th nationally for goals against average (.605).
A Good Omen
The past two times (2016 and 2011) that UTEP has been seeded seventh at the C-USA Championships, it has sprung the upset on the second seed. The Miners ousted Rice, 1-0, in 2016, while toppling then league member Colorado College, 2-1, in 2011. In fact in 2011 UTEP advanced to the championship contest.
Winning Ways Get UTEP In
UTEP capped the regular season with back-to-back victories, propelling it to finish in a three-way tie for sixth place in the C-USA standings. The strong close to the campaign allowed the Miners to qualify for the C-USA Women’s Soccer Championships for the first time since 2016. UTEP is the seventh seed.
Bouncing Back In 2019
UTEP heads into the Conference USA Championships with a mark of 10-6-3, 5-4-1 C-USA. The Miners surpassed their win total for both overall and C-USA contests from a year ago (7-8-4, 2-5-3). UTEP has also secured its first double-digit win total since 2016 (13-7-2).
UTEP has a chance at its first double-digit win total since 2016, which was also the last time it qualified for the C-USA Championships. It can accomplish both with a victory against UTSA on Friday.
Got It Done On The Road
UTEP picked up a crucial 2-0 win at ODU on Oct. 27, which allowed the Miners to conclude this year with a road record of 4-3-2. It marks the first winning road record at the school since 2016 (5-4-2).
Continued Success In Nonconference Play
UTEP has posted a winning mark in nonconference play in 17 of the past 18 years, including finishing 5-2-2 in 2019. The exception during the nearly two-decade run of success came in 2017 (4-5-0).
UTEP has 11 true freshmen on the roster in 2019, its highest total since carrying 14 in 2000. The newcomers comprise nearly half of the squad (11 of 24). Nine of them have earned playing time, including six who have secured at least one starting nod.
Youth Served In Goal
For the first time since 2008, UTEP is relying exclusively on a freshman goalkeeper. Newcomers Zoey Lopez (Montwood HS) and Emily Parrott (Lone Star HS) have both seen action. Parrott has started 18 of 19 matches, making 54 saves and recording six shutouts. Lopez had a quartet of saves before getting injured in the match against Abilene Christian (8/25/19).
Parrott In The UTEP Freshmen Records
Freshman GK Emily Parrott is ascending the Miner record books for freshmen. Her 10 wins tie for fourth while her 54 saves is good enough for eighth on the list.
UTEP freshman GK Emily Parrott has been credited with seven shutouts on the year. That figure ties for third on the Miners’ single-season records. Alyssa Palacios set the program standard with nine in 2016 while Sarah Dilling registered eight in 2014 and Amanda Smith had seven in 1997.
The Basic Facts
UTEP is in its 24th season as a program, boasting an all-time record of 264-181-37. The Miners (10-6-3) are under the direction of first-year head coach Kathryn Balogun. She is assisted by Stewart Givens and Kate Ward and volunteer assistant coach Michael Balogun.