Hilltoppers top Miners for second straight soccer loss

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Hilltoppers top Miners for second straight soccer loss

UTEP women’s soccer vs. WKU at El Paso, Texas.

UTEP women’s soccer vs. WKU at El Paso, Texas.

Daniela López Martínez

UTEP women’s soccer vs. WKU at El Paso, Texas.

Daniela López Martínez

Daniela López Martínez

UTEP women’s soccer vs. WKU at El Paso, Texas.

Michael Cuviello, Sports Editor

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The UTEP Miners (7-4-3, 2-2-1) lost in a defensive struggle against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-4-1, 3-2-2) Thursday night in a match that featured only one goal between both teams.   

Defensively, other than the 6-1 loss to Middle Tennessee State, the Miners have played exceptionally this season. This swarming defense continued in the match with the Hilltoppers. Freshman goalkeeper Emily Parrot once again was solid in goal, allowing one score. Parrot has four shutouts on the season, which ranks her fourth in the conference.  

The Miners once again had an issue getting solid shots and were unable to get an open look close to the opponent’s goal. Finding an open teammate deep in Hilltopper territory was an arduous task for most of the match. Western Kentucky outshot UTEP by a 19 to 14 margin, but had one less shot on goal with six in the matchup.  

Senior defender Lauren Crenshaw led the team with two shots on goal coming on four total shots.Crenshaw leads the team with five goals for the season, along with 41 shots for the year. No other player on the team has taken more than 24 shots; to score more points, the Miners must get more players involved in with better passing.  

“I think, first off, we need to score more set-piece goals, we just need to finish our chances,” UTEP Head Coach Katheryn Balogun said. “We’re going to keep pushing and keep working because this is a good team.”  

The first and only score of the night did not happen until minute 52 of the game by WKU freshman Ansley Cate, scoring her fourth goal of the season resulting from a setup after a free kick.  

Not long after the WKU score, the Miners turned away a three-shot onslaught at the 60-minute mark aided by the top crossbar of the goal, which had two shots bounce off keeping the Hilltoppers from scoring..  

With five games left in the regular season, the Miners still have as many wins as they had all last season and tied for eighth place in the conference with Alabama-Birmingham. The top eight teams in Conference USA advance to the postseason tournament. The Miners have not appeared in the conference tournament or had a winning record since 2016.   

The Miners have one of the better teams in Conference USA coming to town; Lousiana Tech will be a robust test of UTEP’s mettle to see if it is a tournament team.  

The UTEP Miners have two more games remaining on their homestand. The Miners play Louisiana Tech (11-2-1, 3-2-1) Oct. 17, 7 p.m., and Southern Miss (6-7, 1-4) Oct. 20 at noon. Both Games are at University Field.  

Michael Cuviello may be reached at [email protected]  

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