RUSTON, La. – Vic Bohdan (74’) scored on a nice feed from Kam Fisher, but the UTEP soccer team (3-8, 1-3 C-USA) was tripped up at LA Tech (5-6-1, 1-3 C-USA), 2-1, in a weather-delayed match Friday evening.
The Miners fell behind early on a goal to the near post by Avery Kyle (13’) before Josie Studer (67’) added a penalty kick tally to make it a 2-0 contest. UTEP cut the deficit in half after Fisher made a nice run up the left wing, culminating with a cross to the far post where Bohdan buried the chance. The Orange and Blue continued to battle down the stretch, but they couldn’t find the equalizer.
UTEP took seven shots in the contest, including four on goal. It also earned three corner kicks. Freshman GK Luisa Palmen was credited with five saves, while LA Tech GK Libe Banuelos came up with three saves.
After 111 seconds were played, the match was halted due to heavy rain and lightning in the area. The delay was significant before play finally resumed at 9:12 p.m. CT/8:12 p.m. MT (kickoff was 6 p.m. MT/ 7 p.m. CT). UTEP registered the first shot on goal of the game when Molly Sutherland directed a chance that forced Banuelos into making a save in the 10th minute.
LA Tech then went on the offensive, with Kyle sneaking a shot past Palmen at the near post in the 13th minute to put the Miners down, 1-0. UTEP had a good response, stringing together passes to set up Jojo Ngongo in the 17th minute. The shot was pushed wide by Banuelos. The Miners were unable to convert on the ensuing corner kick, and five minutes later they had a scoring chance wiped out on an offside call. Another opportunity befell the same fate in the 24th minute.
Palmen kept the Orange and Blue in striking distance by snuffing out the shot by Carmen Suarez in the 33rd minute. She recorded her second save of the contest in denying Avery in the 42nd minute.
The Miners earned a corner kick two minutes into the second half after a shot was pushed wide with a diving stop by Banuelos. Emerson Kidd then had a header sail wide of the frame in the 54th minute on a UTEP set piece. Five minutes later the Miners garnered their third corner kick of the contest. It was batted around before Sutherland got a shot off, which was blocked.
The close calls weighed even heavier when LA Tech was awarded a penalty kick in the 67th minute after a hand ball in the box went against the Miners. Studer stepped up to the line, and snuck the shot past Palmen.
UTEP refused to go away quietly, as just six minutes later Fisher and Bohdan teamed up for one of the more technically-sound goals of the season. Fisher beat the defenders on the left side and snuck a perfectly-placed ball past Banuelos and a LA Tech defender to Bohdan, who hammered home the shot on the far post.
The Miners continued to pressure after getting on the board, with a header from Kidd being saved in the 79th minute. They ultimately came up short as LA Tech held on for the narrow victory.
Tickets for the contest are $8 and can be purchased through the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting www.UTEPMiners.com/Tickets or in person at 201 Glory Road (Brumbelow Building, UTEP campus) Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Group tickets are also available for $5 (minimum of 10 tickets).