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UTEP soccer’s final home game ends in heartbreaking fashion to Liberty University

Angelica Gutierrez
Goalkeeper Angelina Amparano kicks the ball towards UTEP players.

The UTEP women’s soccer team (2-11-3) ended its home closer with a loss to the Liberty Flames Sunday afternoon, Oct. 15. With one last game in the regular season, the Miners’ first year under Head Coach Gibbs Keeton has been less than ideal. 

Liberty sophomore forward Allison Hansford scored the first goal of the game in the first half, just before the thirteenth-minute mark. This came after two unsuccessful corner kicks by the Flames in the first ten minutes of the game. 

UTEP had its first shot at a corner kick in the sixteenth minute, and Liberty got another corner in the twenty-sixth minute, neither of these attempts were successful.  

Neither team would score until late in the second half, when UTEP senior defender Emerson Kidd scored for UTEP in the seventy-seventh minute, tying the game. The tie was short-lived, as Liberty sophomore forward Ivy Garner scored three minutes later, assisted by sophomore defender Haleigh Arostegui. 

With this last goal being late in the game, it was a difficult task for the Miners to respond, as Liberty strengthened its defense to keep the game from potentially ending in a tie.  

Despite the loss, UTEP soccer Head Coach Gibbs Keeton was happy with the team’s performance. 

“It’s important that we are at home and that we show out to an extent and play really well in the second half,” Keeton said. “It’s a function of what it’s been all season with some self-inflicted adversity costing us. It tells you a lot about our team that they are capable of playing well against a top team in the conference.” 

Durwood Keeton, father of coach Keeton, is no stranger to UTEP athletics, as he was a member of the UTEP football coaching staff for two years in the 70’s. Although his expertise lies in football, he found himself immersed in the game. 

“I thought they played great, they got a couple of shots in on them, that’s what’s happened all year long,” Durwood Keeton said. “There’s just been some tough breaks I think, but Liberty’s good and so is UTEP.”  

Durwood Keeton also noted the impact Kidd’s score had in the second half, and how he hoped UTEP would score one more to take a win. 

“I loved Emmerson’s kick, I thought that was great,” Keeton said. “I thought we were going to get another go off of the header there at the end too, but it was cool. It was fun.” 

Durwood Keeton believes that this young team can still grow in their upcoming seasons at UTEP, as they showed promising potential throughout the season. 

“I want to see how these freshmen grow up over the spring and summer and see what they turn into, see what kind of players they become because there’s a lot of young kids out there,” Keeton said. “Then we got some veterans that are really playing well too, so the juniors that’ll be seniors and the sophomores that’ll be juniors, we’ve got to have some good growth from everybody.” 

The team will soon face Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Oct. 28, to close out their regular season.

Nicholas Maes is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Nicholas Maes
Nicholas Maes, Sports Editor
Nicholas Maes is a sports editor at The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in history with a minor in commercial music. He plans to continue his academic career in history after earning his bachelor's degree.
Angelica Gutierrez
Angelica Gutierrez, Contributor/Reporter
Angelica Gutierrez is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is a contributor for The Prospector. She wants to integrate into the film industry as a writer and director.
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