EL PASO, Texas – The UTEP soccer team will open a slate of four straight home games beginning on Friday against Idaho State at 7 p.m. and continuing vs. UTRGV on Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets for both matches are $5 for adults and $3 for youth and are available by calling 747-5234.
“UTEP Soccer is super excited to get on the field on Friday night for our annual Alumni Association Tailgate game sponsored by Rudy’s BBQ,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross. “We always look forward to this event and really appreciate the UTEP Alumni Association for hosting the event, and Rudy’s for the awesome barbecue.”
The annual pre-game UTEP Alumni Association tailgate will be held Friday starting at 5:30 p.m. with free food from Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q while supplies last.
“We know that Idaho State plays with a lot of energy, and that they have players that can shoot from anywhere and score,” Cross said. “We are going to have to put in an entire team effort in order to secure a positive result. We are excited to get to play in front of our amazing fans as they always give us a boost!
Additionally, UTEP will have its Youth Soccer Day Promotion on Sunday. Youth teams will receive free admission through the UTEP team day program or $2 as individuals. The first 150 fans in attendance will receive orange pom poms.
“We hope all the local soccer leagues and teams will come out and support UTEP soccer. We have a very tough game versus UTRGV. They have some explosive players, are very well coached and a tough team to beat,” Cross said. “We will need to play our best soccer. We are looking forward to this weekend’s challenge, and are excited that the games are at home!”
For more information about the team day program call the UTEP marketing department (915) 747-6065.
Series History Vs. Idaho State
The Miners are 1-1-0 against the Bengals, with the Orange and Blue getting a 2-1 win in double overtime in Pocatello, Idaho (9/2/17). Both goals scorers from last year’s match return in Anna Jimmerson and Cayla Payne.
Getting To Know Idaho State
The Bengals are coming off a 3-14-1 overall record, including 2-7-1 in the Big Sky Conference. Idaho State returns its top goal scorer in sophomore Makena Bambei (five goals, one assist and 11 points).
Series History Vs. UTRGV
The only meeting against UTRGV was in 2016 with a 1-0 home victory for the Miners.
Getting To Know UTRGV
UTRGV is coming off one of its best seasons in program history with an overall record of 9-8-3, including 4-2-1 in the Western Athletic Conference. UTRGV returns its top scorer in junior Sarah Bonney (five goals and six assists). Matilyn Hepker and Tuva Rolstadn Nilsen return to anchor the defense.
Strong Start For Pate
Sophomore April Pate got off to a hot start in the season opener against Lubbock Christian on Aug. 18, scoring a goal and adding two assists. She is the first UTEP sophomore since 2014 (Hannah Nicholson, vs. NM State 8/27) to record at least one goal and two helpers in a game.
Plenty Of Goals To Start The Season
The Miners opened the 2018 campaign with a 6-1 win over Lubbock Christian on Aug. 17, which are the most goals scored in a season opener since 6-1 victory over Sam Houston State in 2007 (8/31).
Sharing The Wealth
Six different Miners scored (April Pate, Jojo Ngongo, Anna Jimmerson, Vic Bohdan, Danielle Carreon and Jackie Soto) in the win over Lubbock Christian on Aug. 17. It was the most individual goal scorers in a contest since last year when the Miners had seven different players find the back of the net in the 8-0 rout over New Mexico Highlands (9/13/17).
Palacios & The Career Rankings
Senior GK Alyssa Palacios has compiled some staggering numbers during her first three seasons in the Sun City. The result has been her stamping her name throughout the UTEP career record book. She enters Friday’s match currently second for saves (352), saves per game (5.8) and save percentage (.838), third in shutouts (18), GK games started (61) and GK minutes played (5,605) while placing tied for third in GK matches played (61) and fifth for goals against average (1.09). Palacios needs three shutouts to break Sarah Dilling’s (2011-14) school standard (20) while she is 87 saves shy of besting the program record (438) held by Amanda Smith (1996-99).
Start It up
The Orange and Blue are 14-3-1 in season openers under Kevin Cross and 17-5-1 all time since the program’s inception in 1996. UTEP toppled Lubbock Christian 6-1.
The Basic Facts
UTEP is in its 23rd season as a program, boasting an all-time record of 248-168-30. The Miners are under the direction of 18th-year head coach Kevin Cross who sports a mark of 206-120-23 in that time frame. He is assisted by two former Miners (Heather Clark and Jessie Pettit).
A Unique Blend
UTEP’s roster of 23 for 2018 has a unique blend with 12 native Texans, seven individuals hailing from Canada and a quarter that call Arizona home.
A Maturing Roster
In 2017 20 of the 27 members of the squad were underclassmen, so it’s only natural that this year’s squad has a bit more experience. In 2018 the Orange and Blue feature a unit where 14 of the 23 individuals are either freshmen (seven) or sophomores (seven). There are four juniors and five seniors who are providing leadership for the still relatively young group.