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UTEP Soccer to open at home riding 5-game win streak

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EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) - The UTEP soccer team (5-5, 1-0) notched its fifth consecutive victory while opening up C-USA play in style with a thrilling 1-0 win at Southern Miss on Sept. 17. Kennadie Chaudhary scored a goal with 59 seconds remaining in regulation while CUSA Goalie of the Week, Alyssa Palacios recorded six saves, including a stop in a one-vs.-one situation to post her second shutout of 2017.

The Miners will play its Conference USA home opener against UAB (6-1-2, 0-0) at 7 p.m. MT Friday.

There will be free admission to the contest as part of the “Fiesta Night” promotion.

“UAB is finally coming to El Paso after UTEP traveling to Birmingham for the last five years,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “UAB arrives in El Paso with the number one record in Conference USA. They have an excellent, well coached team, and we will have to be playing our very best soccer to get a positive result. We urge our UTEP Soccer fans to come out and watch as it is a free game!”

UTEP is 5-4-3 all-time against UAB, including 4-0 when playing in El Paso. The Blazers are riding a three-match unbeaten streak in the series, including a double-overtime victory at home on Sept. 25, 2016, last year. UTEP and UAB haven’t squared off in El Paso since a 3-2 Miner win on Oct. 5, 2012.


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THE STREAK!

Our ladies are riding a five-game winning streak, outscoring the opposition by a count of 16-2 in those five contests. Eleven of the 16 goals have come from freshmen, with four each by Vic Bohdan and Anna Jimmerson, a pair from Cayla Payne and one by Kennadie Chaudhary and April Pate. There have been three shutouts in the stretch with Alyssa Palacios (28) and Dynastee Cain (two) combining to make 30 saves on 32 shots on goal in the five contests.

After dropping its first five matches, including four in overtime or double overtime, UTEP has turned things around to go 5-0-0 since. The Miners have outscored the opposition by a count of 16-2 in the dominating sequence, which has allowed it to pile up five straight victories. The final four were in non-conference play. That marked the second time in three years that UTEP headed to league play having peeled off at least four consecutive victories. In 2015 the Miners won their final five non-league matches.

For the fifth time in program history UTEP stood at least four games under .500 in a season when it got off to a 0-5-0 start this year. The Miners have showed tremendous resolve, becoming the first team in the situation at UTEP to climb all the way back to .500. UTEP has done so in style, too, winning the past five games by a combined score of 16-2.

UTEP scored three goals on 22 shots on goal over the first five games of the season, four of which went to overtime. To their credit the Miners have made some adjustments and the offense has come alive in the past 16 contests. UTEP has tallied 16 goals in 41 shots on goal in four contests since. Helping give those numbers a big boost was the 8-0 whitewashing of New Mexico Highlands on Sept. 13.

The Miners conceded nine goals (1.80 goals per game) over the first five contests of the year but they have tightened things up since. In the four matches since, all UTEP wins, foes have managed a total of two tallies (0.40 goals per game). In terms of opponents shooting the ball, that is also down from 41 shots on goal over the first five to 32 shots on goal over the last five.


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MILESTONE - 200 WINS!

Meanwhile, in his 17th year as the Miners’ head coach Kevin Cross has joined an exclusive club in UTEP Athletics history. At 202-113-23 he is the fifth head coach in Miner sports history to reach 200 career wins at the school (reached it with 2-1 victory vs. Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 10, 2017). Previously Don Haskins (men's basketball, 719-354), Norm Brandl (volleyball, 355-337), Keitha Adams (women's basketball, 284-209) and co-head coaches James and Kathleen Rodriguez (softball, 211-325) achieved the feat. Cross also has the fourth-most tenured run by a Miner head coach. He trails Haskins (37 years), Jere Pelletier (women's golf, 22 years and counting) and Bob Kitchens (track & field, 22 years).

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