Memphis Edges UTEP, 2-1
Oct. 3, 2008
The UTEP soccer team was dealt a hard-fought 2-1 loss by Memphis at University Field Friday evening. Senior Cortney Casey tallied her team-leading fifth goal of 2008 (10th minute), but the Lady Tigers snuck past the Miners behind tallies from Kylie Hayes (sixth minute) and Lauren Laufenberg (39th minute). The latter strike came on a penalty kick.
UTEP (8-4-0, 1-2-0 Conference USA) played well throughout the tilt, registering nine shots to go along with a season-high-tying 10 corner kicks. Memphis (6-3-1, 2-1) only earned one corner in the match, but had just enough offense thanks to being the beneficiary of the PK.
“The ladies played with great effort tonight,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We just needed a little more urgency the in the final third to finish some chances.”
The Miners were a bit sluggish at the onset of the contest, with the Tigers taking a 1-0 lead at the six-minute mark. After controlling a bouncing ball on the right wing, Ashley Berra laced a cross to Hayes. She leapt and headed it just past the out-stretched fingertips of a diving Kaltwasser.
The strike seemed to awaken the Orange and Blue, who found the equalizer a mere three minutes later. Winbush initialized the sequence, racing down the pitch toward the right corner. As a defender quickly closed, the junior sliced a pass toward a streaking Casey. The senior one-timed a shot that blistered into the back of the net.
Memphis vied to regain its edge with an offensive flurry at the 15th minute, but Kaltwasser had other ideas. She denied Hayes before turning away a header try from Berra.
The Miners then went back on the offensive, generating some chances of their own. They earned a pair of corner kicks on consecutive plays at the 18-minute mark, but were unable to strike pay dirt on either opportunity.
UTEP continued to maintain possession as the tilt moved into the midway portion of the stanza. Winbush used her skills to create some space to work with deep in Tiger territory. She drilled a shot on net, but it sailed high.
With 17 minutes left in the period, a promising through ball by Cara Nordin sent Sumter in alone on net. An offside violation, though, brought the sequence to a screeching halt.
Kaltwasser was called upon again during the 30th minute, and the freshman delivered in a big way. She came up with the save on a shot by Lizzy Hildebrandt, despite being partially screened on the play.
An unlucky sequence afforded the Lady Tigers a golden opportunity to break the tie with six minutes left in the period, and they would make the most of it. A Miner defender and Memphis forward got their feet tangled up in the box, and both players went tumbling to the ground. As both players struggled to regain their balance and get back on their feet, the referee whistled a foul on the Orange and Blue.
Laufenberg converted on the ensuing penalty kick, tapping it into the net to make it 2-1.
UTEP stuck to its game plan following the unfortunate series of events, and nearly found the match-tying goal. Katie Dorman won a 50-50 ball and fired a shot on net. The try was turned away by Boyle, but it was still loose in the box. Dorman was poised to knock in the rebound, but was whistled for an infraction before she could do so.
Winbush was knocking on the door in the waning seconds, but the shot rocketed high.
UTEP started the second period with plenty of energy, thanks to Brandi Aston. The senior utilized some nifty dribbling to create a clean look on net, but Memphis keeper Jordan Boyle came up with the save.
Undeterred, the Miners continued to play deep in Memphis territory. UTEP garnered a trio of corner kicks in a three-minute span, but could not find a way to capitalize.
The Orange and Blue almost tied the contest off a set piece at the 63rd minute. Nordin lofted a ball toward the area, with three Miners strategically positioned. No one was able to re-direct the ball on net before it crossed the end line.
Three minutes later off another set piece, Nordin decided to be a bit more aggressive. She skillfully arched a shot over the wall, only to have Boyle punch it over the net to preserve the Lady Tigers’ lead.
Memphis’ defense deflected the ensuing foray into the box over the end line, awarding UTEP its eighth corner of the contest. Nordin lobbed the ball into the area, but the Miners did not win it.
UTEP’s created on more good chance at the 81st minute, but it was not to be. Casey was turned away by Boyle, with the keeper pushing the shot just wide of the net.
The Miners will return to action against UAB at University Field at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
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