Miners fall short against the Golden Eagles

Danny Lopez, Staff Reporter

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The UTEP soccer team (4-11,1-6 Conference USA) lost 2-0 Friday night against the University of Southern Miss (8-3-2, 4-1-2 C-USA) at University Park despite compiling 11 shots, including four on goal. Ten Miners were honored on senior day in the post-contest ceremony. 

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Mariah Scott had five stops for the Miners. UTEP’s defense played well in key moments, grabbing a pair of saves off the line.  

Scott had an early solid defensive performance in the first 16 minutes, coming up with three saves. She would deny senior middle fielder Sam Stiglmair three minutes into the game, then just a bit later, Scott denied sophomore middle field forward Blessingly Kingsley in minute ten of the contest. Stiglmair would try to score but would not do so due to Scott blocking her shot in minute 16. 

The Miners had an opportunity early in this contest to get a goal on the board with Vic Bohdan getting a good kick on the ball but unfortunately it was blocked by the USM defense in minute 11. 

“It’s been a struggle all year to find the net in the final third, we’ve possessed, we’ve out passed teams, but when it came down to the final ball, we’ve just missed it all season,” said coach Kathryn Balogun in an Oct. 23 post-game interview. “What I do know is we will get better over the next week, finish the season strong and then come out next year and come out with a point of attack to get more goals.” 

22 minutes in, Scott made a diving save on a shot from Kingsley. The rebound, however, went to Stiglmair, who for a quick second, had a goal, but the Miners’ defense stood tall and denied it off the line for a team save.  

The Golden Eagles extended their lead to 2-0 after forward Alice Campos shot the ball past Scott. UTEP then really upped its intensity, collecting two shots on goal over the next five minutes, but both were denied by Mindnich.    

The Miners conclude their 2021 season when they travel to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to take on the Blazers Thursday Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.   

Danny Lopez is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]