MINERS
UTEP Battles To Scoreless Draw With Texas State

Sarah Dilling

Sarah Dilling
Aug. 22, 2014

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery by Michael Patrick Reese 

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EL PASO, TEXAS - Senior goaltender Sarah Dilling posted two saves while also making several other quality plays off her line to help the UTEP soccer team forge a 0-0 tie against Texas State in its season opener at University Field Friday evening.

A capacity-plus crowd of 1,026 fans were on hand for the defensive battle, using a combination of chants and songs to create a special atmosphere. The Miners (0-0-1) outshot the Bobcats (0-0-1), 8-5, while shots on goal were even at two.

"It wasn't a lack of effort today," UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. "Texas State really battled. It was our first game and we had some jitters but we will be good moving forward."

It is the 13th career clean sheet for Dilling, who took sole possession of third place for shutouts on the UTEP career charts. Sophomore Nicole Lindsay and senior Mackenzie German were the most assertive players for the Orange and Blue, with each registering three shots. Lindsay joined Dilling and Hannah Asuchak as the select few Miners to play all 110 minutes in the contest while Angela Cutaia (102), Bri Thomas (98), Aleah Davis (96) and Tayler O'Hayre (94) also logged big loads.

Texas State goaltender Caitlynn Rinehart was credited with a pair of stops, denying German at 71:15 and freshman Sydney Rapp at 106:35. Rapp and fellow classmate Margaret Hadley earned starting nods while another freshman, Carmen Webester, secured 26 minutes of playing time off the bench.

More than half of UTEP's starting line-up was comprised of underclassmen, with the aforementioned two freshmen being joined by sophomores Davis, Lindsay, Hannah Nicholson and Thomas.

Texas State created the first chance of the game with a shot from distance by Maddie Nichols. Dilling gobbled it up cleanly. The Miners then strung together a beautiful sequence of passes to set up a left-footed chance by Lindsay but the shot sailed wide in the 14th minute.

The visitors got another look from Tori Hale in the 23rd minute, but Dilling was up to the task. She displayed picture-perfect form in cleanly saving the shot destined for the lower-right corner.

UTEP started to find a rhythm with 17 minutes left in the half, earning three corner kicks in as many minutes. Only one shot came out of the sequence, though, with an attempt by German being blocked out of play.

There was a dangerous situation late in the period with a thru ball setting up Texas State forward Lynsey Curry on a partial breakaway. Dilling did a good job to cut down the angle while pressure from Hannah Asuchak forced a bad touch by Curry. The ball trickled over the end line.

 UTEP looked much sharper in the second half, accounting for five of the six shots in the stanza. As was the case in the opening 45 minutes, it came in bunches. German blasted a shot errant at 68:05 while forcing Rinehart to make the save with a hard rip at 71:15. Lindsay capped the sequence by firing high at 74:21.

Hadley had an opportunity in the waning minutes of regulation only to have the Texas State defense block the shot out of bounds.

Neither squad could record a shot in the first 10-minute golden-goal overtime period while the visitors enjoyed a 2-1 cushion in the second OT period. Ultimately, though, the night belonged to the defense with both teams settling for the scoreless draw.

The Miners will have a quick turnaround, playing at Abilene Christian at 12 p.m. MT Sunday.

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