FAU shuts out the Miners at home

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FAU shuts out the Miners at home

Mike Flores, Reporter

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The story of the year for the UTEP soccer team was on the line during their matchup against the Florida Atlantic Owls on Sunday, Oct. 23. The Miners got down got down early in the first period of play thanks to Libby Wissman’s second goal of the season and Pernille Velta’s third score of the year for the Owls.

 

Kevin Cross’ lady Miners got outshot by a margin of eight attempts in the first half—FAU’s fifteen goal attempts compared to UTEP’s seven shots at the goal against the stingy Owls’ defense.

 

The Miners had their chances to find the net, even if they did not shoot as much as they would have hoped for. However, they could not capitalize on some great looking opportunities.

 

“At the start of the game we had some opportunities that just didn’t go in for us. That would have changed the game for us—the opposing coach said the same thing to me,” head coach Kevin Cross said. “I don’t know if that is bad luck, or if we just have to sacrifice more.”

 

Senior forward Bri Thomas and midfielder Aleah Davis were being the aggressors on the field, trying to put up points on the scoreboard. They both tallied three goal attempts.

 

Alyssa Palacios came into the game leading Conference USA in saves—with 108 on the season, and she added nine more against Florida Atlantic to total 115 at the end of the day. She was forced to be the backbone for her team, once again.

 

The women’s soccer team is no stranger to second half sparks—the majority of the team’s shot attempts and goals scored are usually accounted for in the last forty-five minutes of the game, with 19 out of UTEP’s 29 goals on the season are scored.

 

However, UTEP could not work their second half magic entirely. They did put on a better show for the 305 fans in attendance. FAU was not on the scoring side of the field as much and they were bottled up to just three shot attempts in the second period.

 

Goalkeeper Sydney Drinkwater for the Owls seemed like the only sweat she broke was due to the boiling sun. She only had to save her team twice on the day.

 

The Miners’ aggression could not translate into a real scoring threat in the second half. The team suffered their potential season-ending loss, 2-0.

 

Bri Thomas knows how disappointing the game was and how her team blew the perfect opportunity to solidify them in post-season play.

 

“It was definitely a game we needed to win. Now it all comes down to the last game,” Thomas said. “We have to win, we have to win, and that still doesn’t guarantee us the conference tournament.”

 

El Paso’s soccer team fell to 11-6-2 on the season, and 4-5 in conference outings. They are currently ranked seventh in the rankings, while FAU jumped to the fourth spot in C-USA, with a 10-6-2 record and 6-2-1 in conference play.

 

Two wins against Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss could have sealed up a playoff bid for Kevin Cross and his team, but with the defeat on Sunday against the Owls, the Miners will have to win next Friday in front of their home crowd, facing the Golden Eagles; and they will also have to let the other games in the conference work themselves out to see if they make the final cut of eight in Conference USA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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