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SMU scored two penalty-kick goals in a span of one minute and 32 seconds to break a scoreless tie early in the second half in an eventual 3-0 defeat of UTEP at Friday evening.
Mallory Baum put away the initial PK at 50:51 while Olivia Elliot took care of the other for the Mustangs (5-5-1, 1-1-1 C-USA) at 52:23.
The Miners (7-5-0, 0-3-0 C-USA), who had outshot the home side, 8-4, including 3-1 on goal during a solid first half, were understandably stunned by the sequence. SMU took advantage of that fact, with Rikki Clarke tapping in the final tally of the tilt following a scramble for a loose ball in the box at 57:26.
UTEP played hard the rest of the way out, but the damage had been done.
It marks the first contest in program history that a foe has earned a pair of penalty kicks. There have even been 10 entire seasons where the opposition had fewer than two PK attempts. There were 18 fouls in the contest, with 13 going against the Miners. Four of the five infractions by SMU occurred over the final 23 minutes.
UTEP came out with an energetic effort early on, with two shots and a corner kick within the opening five minutes. Jade Babcock was turned away by Mustang GK Shannon Maroney at 1:35 while Brittany Kindzierski had a shot blocked at 3:41. UTEP could not convert on the corner service by Tess Hall.
SMU’s first chance came a couple minutes later, with Sarah Dilling denying Clarke with a nifty save. The Mustangs couldn’t finish on the ensuing corner, with a try by Mallory Baum whistling wide.
UTEP was back in control of the contest for the next several minutes. The Miners looked poised to get on the board in the 26th minute, but it was not to be. Off a corner kick, Moroney managed to make saves against both Lauren Peck (26:01) and Babcock (26:45).
SMU didn’t put together much of consequence the remainder of the stanza, with a pair of shots going off target.
Dilling came up with a brilliant stop early in the second half. Courtney Smith served a corner to Ryanne Lewis, but Dilling delivered the point-blank save.
UTEP couldn’t get the ball out of its end, though, and it would cost them as the unusual sequence of two penalty goals in less than two minutes.
The Miners will look to bounce back when they play at Tulsa at 1 p.m. MT Sunday.
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