Miners Fall In High-Scoring Affair To North Texas, 4-3

Sept. 2, 2007

Box Score

DENTON, Texas -

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In a game featuring two of the top offenses in the country, the UTEP soccer team (1-1) fell at North Texas (2-0), 4-3, Sunday afternoon. The Miners showed plenty of heart in the setback, erasing a 2-0 deficit at the half to tie the match in the 73rd minute on Cortney Casey's goal, but UNT retook the lead for good courtesy of a penalty kick with less than seven minutes to play.

Casey, Jami Tullius and Tameka Sumter each scored for the second straight match for the Miners, while senior netminder Jessica Salvi registered nine saves. Casey also added an assist.

The Miners came out aggressive in the first half, forcing Mean Green netminder Kandice Ellis to make two saves in the initial five minutes. UNT then went on the attack, earning a corner kick. After the ball was batted around in the box, Brittany Cleveland put the Mean Green up 1-0 by deflecting a loose ball into the back of the net.

UTEP did not rattle, though, continuing to pepper Ellis with shots. Freshman Lauren Hamson and senior Brandi Aston were both turned away in span of one minute.

North Texas made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute, this time with Janaye Woods putting away a cross after she found some space in the box. Once again, the Miners' response was to turn up their offensive intensity, but a Hamson header whistled just wide.



Facing a 2-0 deficit at the break, the Orange and Blue came out with a renewed focus in the second stanza. The approach paid off, as Tullius hammered home a header off a beautiful pass from Anoop Josan on a corner kick to slice the UNT lead in half. It was the first helper of 2007 campaign for Josan, who led Conference USA in assists in 2006 as a freshman with 14.

The Miners were just getting started, however, as Casey buried a rebound chance off a Hamson shot to even the game. The tally seemed to put the Mean Green on their heels, as the Miners vied to take the lead.

With the two teams going back and forth at each other, North Texas emerged with the momentum thanks to the aforementioned penalty kick. Kristi Juett stood over the ball and nailed the shot into the top left corner past a diving Salvi.

Trailing 3-2, and with the clock working against them, the Miners were forced alter their style of play. The necessary change in strategy afforded UNT plenty of space to operate with, and Juett capitalized. The sophomore deflected in a low, crossing pass to put the Mean Green up 4-2 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.

UTEP refused to go down without a fight, though, as Casey lobbed perfectly-placed ball to Sumter off a set piece. The sophomore forward elevated above the pack and headed it past a helpless Ellis to bring the Miners back within one. UTEP made one final rush up field, but North Texas cleared the ball out of danger to preserve the win.

UTEP will look to bounce back in its home opener against St. Mary's (Texas) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

UTEP at North Texas Post-Match Notes

Sophomore Tameka Sumter brought her 2007 goal total to three tallies. The San Antonio, Texas, native led Conference USA in goals scored and set a UTEP rookie record with 13 as a freshman last year...Jami Tullius' goal at the 59th minute was the 36th of her career, adding to her school-record total...freshman Lauren Hamson assisted on Cortney Casey's goal in the 73rd minute to record her first career point with the Miners...two of UTEP's three goals came via the header...eight of the Miners' nine goals on the campaign have come in the second half...junior Cortney Casey has now scored in back-to-back games for the first time in her career.
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