Behind goals from Katie Dorman and Mackenzie German and stifling defense, the UTEP soccer team defeated Northern Colorado, 2-0, at University Field Sunday afternoon.
Brittany Kindzierski and Tori Martyn added assists for the Miners (5-2-0) while freshman netminder Sarah Dilling registered three saves in shutting out the Bears (1-5-1). The Orange and Blue outshot UNC, 17-9, including 7-3 in shots on goal.
UTEP moves to 5-0-0 at University Field in 2011, with each of those victories of the shutout variety.
UTEP was sluggish initially, with the Bears garnering a pair of corner kicks in the first minute of the match. The Miners’ stop troops took care of business on both forays into the area, not even permitting UNC to register a shot on net.
The sequence seemed to awaken the Orange and Blue, who were much sharper from that moment on. A nice string of passes sent Kindzierski streaking down the right wing. She sucked the defense in and then laced a cross into the middle of the box. Dorman fought off a defender and redirected the shot into the back of the net to afford the Miners a 1-0 lead at 5:25.
The home side looked poised to pad its advantage with a nice thru ball by Martyn sending Tess Hall into space. The junior took one dribble to compose herself but she rocketed a shot just wide.
Hall had another chance in the 26th minute, this time thanks to a feed from Amanda Pak. She ripped a shot only to have it clank cruelly off the post and out of bounds.
The Bears mustered some offense of their own on the ensuing possession. Dilling was up to the task, making a diving stop on a shot from Ariel Cook. The freshman came up with an even better save a couple minutes later, tipping a shot by Angela Csaszar over the top of the goal. UNC then played a poor ball on the ensuing corner kick.
The Miners regrouped and began to patiently probe the UNC defense. The approach nearly paid dividends in the form of a second goal, but GK Kirstin Salminen punched the attempt just high. A promising ball was played into the area off the corner kick but UTEP couldn’t convert, and it had to settle for the 1-0 lead at the break.
The start of the second stanza was much the first, with UNC immediately working the ball up the pitch. The Bears tried to serve the ball into the area, but Dilling came off her line to grab it before an attacker could muster the shot onto goal.
It was a similar situation a couple minutes later, with Dilling deflecting a pass made into the box. Kenah Linger then laced the loose ball out of harms’ way, preserving the 1-0 advantage for the Orange and Blue.
UTEP then went back on the attack, with Lauren Katada initiating the charge down the left wing. She deftly played a ball toward Hall, who used a half volley to blast the shot on target. Salminen was in good position, and she registered the save.
The Miners peppered Salminen with a few more shots over the next few minutes before finally breaking through for the insurance goal. Martyn skillfully split the defense with a pass to afford German a breakaway. Salminen raced off her line to cut down the angle but German still tickled the twine to make it 2-0 at 71:21.
Hall had a great chance for a third UTEP goal, but was denied this time by the crossbar in the 85th minute. It would not matter, though, with the Miners closing out the contest in style.
UTEP will return to action when it wraps up non-conference play on the road this coming weekend. The Miners will play at Sam Houston State at 6 p.m. MT on Friday before taking on UTSA at 12 p.m. MT on Sunday, Sept. 18.