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UTEP tops Southern Miss with overtime goal

Veronica Enriquez
Senior midfielder Gina Soto takes on a Golden Eagles defender.

Senior forward Azia Nicholson scored her fifth goal of the season to help the Miners defeat Southern Miss 1-0 in overtime Sunday at University Field.

“We practice finishing every day. Of course we want to put them away early and take some of the pressure off, but we wanted to keep going at them and not get too down on ourselves,”  Nicholson said. “I forget how it got to Angela but it was up in the air, and I  tried to anticipate it run through it, the keeper made a great first initial save, it popped back up and I headed it in trying to keep it low and luckily it went in.”

After falling in their Conference USA season opener 2-1 against Rice on Friday, the Miners returned to University Field to face the Golden Eagles.

“We played a very good defensive team, they made it hard for us to break-in”, said UTEP head coach Kevin Cross. “They did a good job, but we stuck to the plan. We were trying to possess the ball and we were able to do that really well. I thought we did a good job working the ball through the back, getting it out wide, getting passes in–it was a good soccer match.”

The Miners played up to their potential and dominated both offensively and defensively with the help of  Senior Azia Nicholson and goalkeeper Sarah Dilling who had two saves in the first half of regulation in a shutout performance.

The Miners held the advantage over the Golden Eagles in more than one category–corner kicks (7-1) , shots (19-5), and shots on the goal (8-2)

However, the Eagles did not give up easy, blocking shots attempted by UTEP during the game and forcing the game to remain scoreless.

Overtime looked to be anyone’s game as both teams traded possession, but in the 94th minute senior midfielder scored off an assist from sophomore forward Angela Cutaia that ended in a pop-up save by Golden Eagles goalkeeper Taylor Brittany, which eventually was headed home by Nicholson on the second effort.

With the win the Miners go to 1-1 to begin their Conference-USA season. Now preparing to go on the road the Miners will take on the Alabama-Birmingham and Florida Atlantic on Oct. 4 and 6 respectively, a road trip of match-ups that Cross said the Miners will be prepared for.

“We need to be a little sharper, and get a few better finishes going into these road matches, but that’s something we can work on before making the trip,” Cross said.

Ellisia Shafer may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Veronica Enriquez
Veronica Enriquez, Photo Editor
Veronica Enriquez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in art. Currently, she is working as the photo editor at The Prospector and helps out at her church with the youth. Coming from a family of photographers and journalists she grew an interest for photography from a very young age and during her sophomore year at Franklin High School she began to have an interest for journalism. Veronica simply loves telling people’s stories through photography, print, audio or video. Some of her hobbies include going on overseas mission trips, playing music, helping out at her church, spending time with her fiancée, friends and family.
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UTEP tops Southern Miss with overtime goal