Miners’ soccer undefeated in conference play

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Miners’ soccer undefeated in conference play

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Priscilla Gomez

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Priscilla Gomez

Priscilla Gomez

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Michael Cuviello, Sports Editor

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UTEP tames the Herd, off to best start since 2016

The Miners (7-2-2) staged a comeback victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd 3-8 Thursday, giving them a 2-0 record in conference play. Matching the same start of the 2016 season under former coach Kevin Cross, this Miner team has shown a defensive intensity and a never-quit attitude with first-year Head Coach Katheryn Balogun.   

In her initial season at UTEP, Balogun is enjoying her best start in six years of coaching, with her first winning record through nine games of a season. Her teams at Texas Southern were notoriously slow starters with her season start being 4-5 through nine games. Texas Southern never had a losing conference record under Balogun.  

“That’s two games in a row we’ve found the back of the net three times, and we needed all of them for tonight’s win,” Balogun said. “We cannot continue to count on teams allowing us to bounce back.” 

Trailing 2-1 at halftime, the Miners scored twice in the first two minutes of the second half to take a 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish. The winning goal was scored by sophomore forward JoJo Ngongo at the 46 minutes mark of the match. Ngongo has three goals on the season, which already matches her total for the 2018 season.  

Ngongo is currently tied for second on the team in goals scored with senior midfielder Danielle Carreon. Leading the team in goals scored is senior forward Lauren Crenshaw who added to her team with a leading total of five with a penalty kick goal at the 15-minute mark of this match. Crenshaw is only two goals off her career-best of seven from last year with eight games remaining on the schedule.  

Freshman goalkeeper Emily Parrot has been the goalie of record in all UTEP’s matches. Parrot is second in the conference in shutouts with three and third in saves with 34. Due to freshman goalie Zoey Lopez’s injury in the second game of the season versus Abilene Christian, Parrot has played every minute of each game for the Miners.   

The Miners have already matched its entire win total from last season with eight more games still left on the slate. Continuing the road trip for the next two games, the Miners will face the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2-3-3) Oct. 3 and wrap up versus Middle Tennessee State (4-6-1) Oct. 6.  

The Miners will return home for its next match versus the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at University Field.  

Michael Cuviello may be reached at prospector.edu. 

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