UTEP Preserves Unbeaten Home Mark With Hard-Fought 1-1 Tie Vs. Tulsa

Oct. 21, 2011

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EL PASO, TEXAS – Behind junior Brittany Kindzierski’s team-leading eighth goal of the year and solid play in net from Sarah Dilling, the UTEP soccer team remained unbeaten at home in 2011 by battling Tulsa to a 1-1 tie at University Field Friday evening.

The Miners (10-5-3, 4-3-2 C-USA) cracked the Hurricane’s (10-5-3, 4-3-2 C-USA) vaunted defense with Lauren Katada setting up Kindzierski’s tally just 5:56 into the match. Dilling, who registered a quartet of saves, and the defense nearly did the rest, with only the first goal of the year by TU’s Bradi Hinch preventing the shutout and victory.

UTEP registered 13 shots, including four on goal, while also earning a trio of corner kicks. It showed good composure in a very physical match (21 total fouls) and nearly pulled out the triumph in double overtime. A shot by Jade Babcock from inside the box sailed just high, though, with 50 seconds left.

That is not to say the Orange and Blue did not have close calls that went their way. The most notable moment came early in the second stanza, when TU’s Claire Hulcer penalty-kick attempt ricocheted off the crossbar.

The overall effort by UTEP moves it to 8-0-2 at University Field in 2011, with a + 19 (27-8) ratio in those contests.

Tension was high at the onset of the match, but the Miners showed good form. Quality play on the wing by Katada allowed her to streak down the sideline. She set up shop in the corner and then laced the cross into the area, finding the foot of Kindzierski in the process. The junior took one dribble and then buried the shot into upper 90’s country to afford the home side the early 1-0 edge.

There were not many opportunities for either side over the next several minutes, with chippy play taking center stage. The Miners kept their composure in spite of the style.

The initial opportunity for Tulsa came in the 21st minute, and it was a good one. Danielle Hughes laced a low, hard shot but Dilling preserved the lead with the stop.  UTEP regained control after the nice save, and began to patiently probe the TU defense. Azia Nicholson ripped a shot but it was blocked out of harms’ wary.

UTEP looked to pad its advantage in the 34th minute. Babcock intercepted a ball in space and headed up pitch. She then deftly touched a thru ball destined for Nicholson, who would have had a clean look on net, but the pass was slightly errant. Tulsa netminder Katie Bykowski, who registered three saves, flew off her line and corralled it. The play by the GK kept the score the same heading into halftime.  

The visitors utilized a couple of quick passes to generate a partial breakaway in the opening minute of the second stanza. A TU player was dragged down in the box, setting up a penalty kick. Hulcer laced a shot which hit the crossbar, before the Orange and Blue cleared it.

TU would manage to the tie tilt, though, 15 minutes later. A cross from the left wing bounced past the Miners’ defense. It found a home with Hinch on the far side, who one-timed it past Dilling.

The freshman netminder regrouped nicely after the strike, delivering a brilliant save on a try from Jordan O’Brien at 65:55. The Miners’ defense then did its job, winning the ball on the ensuing corner kick.

UTEP tested Bykowski in the waning minutes of the second stanza, only to have the visiting netminder register the stop. A Kindzierski shot was errant at 85:53, and the match would head to OT.

Both squads recorded a pair of shots in the first extra session, but neither could find pay dirt. Bykowski came up with a stop on a shot by Katie Dorman at 93:16 while both TU shots were blocked by the Miners’ defense.

Things were a bit more frantic in the final OT period, with both sides desperate for the match winner. The only official shot on goal in the 10-minute session was recorded by Tulsa, with Dilling denying Claire Nicholson at 108:52.

UTEP will return to action when it challenges in-state rival SMU at 1  p.m. MT. It will be “BOSS & Military Appreciation Day,” with all military members receiving free admission with valid ID.



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