Miners win home opener, Hall scores a pair
UTEP upends Texas State 3-1 in front of 805 watching
Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
In their first home game of the season, the Miners were determined to leave an impression in front of 805 fans, even though they were up against defending Southland Conference champion, Texas State. This was their field and they were going to dictate the tempo of the game.
Finishing the game with a 3-1 victory over the Bobcats, the Miners are more than just a team to remember. They are a team competitors should worry about.
“Our style of play is just attack, and that is exactly what we did once we came out on the field,” junior midfielder Azia Nicholson said. “We were holding a strong defense, jocking as much as we could so that we were always on our toes, moving as the ball, and opposing player moved. Then when the opportunity came we were able to steal the ball and take it down the field.”
The Miners jumped to a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute after junior defender Jade Babcock found senior midfielder Tess Hall in the area who finished the play with a tap in.
UTEP spent no time in taking a 2-0 lead after the half as Nicholson found sophomore midfielder German Mackenzie, who placed the ball over the goalkeeper in the 47th minute.
Scoring the one goal against UTEP in the 50th minute, Texas State junior midfielder Sydney Curry, worked to break the Miner defense, but came up shorthanded against the Miners ability to adapt to competitors.
“In that moment their defender had stepped too high, so our back post was open, and the shot was there,” Curry said. “But after that goal, they immediately readjusted their set up, and we were not able to break through with any more goals. We are two fast paced teams, and they were just more successful with the quick switches.”
The Miners secured the lead for the win as Hall scored her second goal of the match in the 77th minute off a free kick.
With instant modifications to their defense, the Miners were able to concentrate on their offensive stance, allowing them to outshoot the Bobcats with 18-7 shot attempts and 10-2 in shots-on-goal.
“Going into the game, I wanted the team to have a ‘champion’s mentality’. If we scored a first goal, then we were going to get a second, and so forth,” head coach Kevin Cross said. “Once we scored the first goal, the team became more aggressive and took control of the game and that is definitely what gave us the winning edge over our real quality opponent.”
The win over Texas State gives the Miners their second win of the season.
UTEP’s next game will be a face-off against Army at 11 a.m., Aug. 26 at University field. The game will be a "Hawaiian Day," celebration as fans who wear a Hawaiian shirt will get in free.
Audrey Westcott may be reached at email@example.com.