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UTEP soccer shows hopeful insight on media day

Angel Ulloa
UTEP will play New Mexico State at UTEP on August 19th

Nearly a week until they kick off their 2016 fall season, the UTEP women’s soccer team addressed the media on Wednesday, Aug. 10, with eagerness to start their campaign. The squad kicks off their non-conference schedule at home on Friday, Aug. 19, against New Mexico State.


Leading the talk of much optimism and hope, head coach Kevin Cross, who enters his 16th season as head coach, claims that this team is unlike others he has coached before.


“It feels a little extra special,” Cross said. “It feels like there’s a little more energy going into this team and more belief. This must be one of the best teams I’ve had recently.”


Returning nine out of eleven starters to the field, the Miners bring in more experience, rather than newcomers, as they did last season. In addition to the experience, the team also returns 15 letter award winners, thus adding the talent to the squad.


One of the returning starters for the squad, midfielder/defender Aleah Davis has already gained league-wide attention. The team’s captain was named Conference USA preseason defensive player of the year. Davis also contributed five goals and seven assists for a total of 18 points for the Miners.


“Our practices have been going very well,” Davis said. “We have super high intensity on the attack, and I think it’s going to be a great season.”


Last season, the Miners notched a 11-7-2 overall record (4-4-2 Conference USA), marking the 14th consecutive season they won over ten games. Although they had an above par season, Davis has a sour taste about the past season which she looks to redeem herself with. The 2015 season was ended short after the Miners barely missed the league’s post-season tournament. C-USA takes the top eight teams, and the Miners fell just short at ninth place.


“When people ask about last season, I think it’s unfortunate that we didn’t make the conference tournament; but, I think we’ve learned a lot since then,” Davis said. “I think it was a developmental season — we had a lot of new girls in, and it was good to get them in the flow. Last season was our base, and now we are improving from that.”


During the spring season, the girls also made noise. They held on to key wins over Pac-12 affiliates Arizona and Arizona State, and finished 6-1 overall.


“The upperclassmen took it to another level during the spring,” Cross said. “I don’t put too much stock into it, but having a good spring is better than a bad one. We had a very good spring. It gave us a lot of confidence and showed us that all the returners could win big matches.”


However, this season, according to Cross, is different. The squad compiles a group in which a good portion are veterans of the sport, while the other portion are newcomers that will probably make an impact instantly.


“We have some freshman who look like they can contribute right now,” Cross said. “I think we have a really special group.”


Besides the Aggies on Aug. 19, the Miners have other key games on their home schedule this season; but, what stands out the most is their home game against C-USA defending champions North Texas (Oct. 4). Their matchup against the Mean Green will be their first conference home opener.


“We just take each game one at a time, but obviously that is a big game here at home,” Cross said. “That is huge because we have them and Rice, two of the top teams, at home.”

Kickoff against the Aggies will be slated at 7:00 p.m. on University Field.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected].




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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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UTEP soccer shows hopeful insight on media day