UTEP Soccer Notes: At New Mexico State
Aug. 19, 2010
UTEP To Open Season At New Mexico State
The UTEP soccer team will kick off its 15th season in program history by taking on I-10 rival New Mexico State University at 7 p.m. on Aug. 20. It will mark the earliest start date for the Miners, eclipsing the game against the Aggies from last year (Aug. 21).
Calling All Tailgaters
UTEP soccer fans are invited to a pre-game tailgate (5 p.m.) outside the stadium prior to the Miners taking on I-10 rival New Mexico State (7 p.m.). The event, co-sponsored by the UTEP Alumni Association, is free and open to the public. There will be free food, drinks and giveaways. Additionally, University Relations and the Alumni Association will be putting UTEP Miner metal chrome car picks on vehicles for the Miner fans. For more information, please contact Margie Brickey at the UTEP Alumni Association by calling 915-747-8600.
All About The Tickets For Friday’s Match
Tickets for the match (7 p.m. kickoff) can be purchased for $6 at the New Mexico State University Ticket Office or by calling 575-646-4120. Children will receive free admission.
Did You Know
For the first time in program history, UTEP will face the same team in its season opener in consecutive years. The Miners challenged 13 different teams in the campaign lidlifter from 1996-2008, but will have battled New Mexico State in the year’s first match in both 2009 and 2010.
Keep The Good Times Rolling
UTEP is 11-3 in season openers, and it has outscored the opposition by a count of 45-15 in those games. The Miners have won their past four and are 8-1 in campaign lidlifters under Kevin Cross. The lone setback under his watch came at the hands of Texas State, 3-2, in double overtime on Aug. 27, 2004.
Not The Norm To Start On The Road Under Cross
The match at NM State will mark just the third time of the Kevin Cross era that UTEP will christen the campaign on the road. The Miners are 2-0 in the situation, with victories at Air Force in 2006 (1-0) and at Sam Houston State in 2007 (6-1). The Miners kicked off the season in hostile territory in three of the five years before his appointment as head coach, going 1-2 in those contests.
Getting To Know You
New Mexico State fashioned a solid mark of 9-9-1, including 4-3-1 in the Western Athletic Conference, in their inaugural season of soccer in 2009. The Aggies will bring back eight starters and 13 letterwinners in total from that squad, while adding 13 newcomers.
Looking Ahead To Sunday’s Promos
There are several promotions for the home opener vs. 2008 & ‘09 NCAA tourney participant Northern Arizona at 1 p.m. at University Field on Sunday. It will be “Camper Reunion/Take A Kid To The Game/Kids Club Day” with all kids getting in free. All fans in attendance will also be able to take advantage of the “Sodexho Sunday Special.” For only $12, fans will receive four bottled pops, four hot dogs and four nachos. Fans can buy their game tickets and concession vouchers through the UTEP ticket center beginning on Friday or on game day.
All About The Seasonal Promotions
There are some great promotions that will be in place throughout the 2010 UTEP soccer season. The “Team Days Promo” will allow area teams (players and coaches) to attend one regular-season home game for free while also receiving recognition during the game. Friends and family members will receive a discounted ticket price of $2 per person. Additionally, with the “Mini Miners Sunday Fun Day”, selected UTEP players and staff will teach young soccer players in a clinic immediately following every Sunday home game.
This IS UTEP Soccer
The city of El Paso has embraced the UTEP soccer program since its inception, and the Miners have rewarded the faithful by turning into a league and regional power. Head coach Kevin Cross has guided the Miners to incredible heights.
Consider the following facts about UTEP under his tutelage:
Home Sweet Home
The Miners are 70-10-3 at University Field since 2002. In those 83 contests the Orange and Blue have out-scored their foes to the tune of 242-68. For math fans, the average score of a UTEP home game since 2002 is UTEP 2.9, its Opponent, 0.8.
Miners Love The Big Crowds
For some teams, playing in front of a big crowd at home can add pressure and actually make it tougher to play well. That is certainly not the case for UTEP during Kevin Cross’ tenure. For the Miners, it is a simple equation. The larger the crowd, the better they play. The breakdown for UTEP’s record in correlation for the crowd size since 2002 is as follows:
1,000+ fans: 6-0-0
900+ fans: 10-0-0
800+ fans: 12-0-0
700+ fans: 13-1-1
Looking To Lead C-USA In Attendance Again
The UTEP soccer team has paced Conference USA in attendance the past four years, and it has aspirations of doing so again in 2010. Last year the Miners topped the league in home average (642) and overall home fans (7,703), both of which set program standards. The first of 10 home games on tap this year will come against 2008 & 2009 NCAA Tournament participant, Northern Arizona, at 1 p.m. at University Field on Sunday.
Winning Ways Of UTEP Soccer
The Miner soccer program has registered eight consecutive winning campaigns, all of which featured at least 10 victories. UTEP mustered only one such season (1998) before head coach Kevin Cross’ tenure. Conference USA in 2005, UTEP has the most wins (74) of any league school. Memphis (70) and UCF (68) rate second and third, respectively.
Talking Regional Rankings
UTEP has garnered a spot in the regional rankings for a school-record six straight seasons and in seven of head coach Kevin Cross’ nine years. Prior to his appointment, UTEP managed the feat twice out of a possible six years.
All About The Schedule
The Miners have 20 games (10 home, 10 road) on the docket for 2010. UTEP will play nine non-conference tilts (six home, three road) before opening up its 11-match (four home, seven road) Conference USA slate at home against UAB at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24. The Miners have only the four league home matches due to the unbalance schedule, which is in place due to the vote by the C-USA coaches.
All About The Roster
UTEP returns five starters and 10 letterwinners from the 2009 team (13-6-1) while adding eight true freshmen. Notable returnees include 2009 C-USA Freshman of the Year Skye Schultz, seniors Melissa Desilets and Anoop Josan and junior keepers Chandra Morden and Sara Kaltwasser.
Last year Skye Schultz stormed onto the scene by registering eight goals (t-2nd team/t-6th C-USA/156th nation), nine assists (1st C-USA/32nd nation) for 25 points (1st team/3rd C-USA/76th nation). She was tabbed as the Conference USA Freshman of the Year and was an NSCAA All-Central Region third-team member. Schultz started all but one match, and registered at least point in 13 of the 20 matches on the campaign.
Hall’s Heroics In The Crunch
Sophomore MF Tess Hall proved to be a dominant force in the midfield in her rookie campaign a year ago. She served as the primary server for all set pieces and corner kicks while racking up six assists (2nd team/7th C-USA). She was at her best, though, with the match on the line. That was no more evident than her tallying four game-winning helpers.
Desilets Does It
Melissa Desilets, a co-captain and one of two seniors on the 2010 squad, will be looking to build off another solid campaign. Last year she started every match, logging a squad-best 1,733 minutes of playing time. She was a steady defender, which helped UTEP post a 1.27 GAA. Desilets got involved on offense, as well, tallying four assists (4th on the squad).
All About AJ
Anoop Josan, who redshirted the 2008 campaign to participate with Team Canada at the U20 FIFA Women’s World Cup, was back in the fold last year. Her steady presence in the midfield helped UTEP’s offense account for 40 goals (2.00 GPG) and 40 assists. Individually, she contributed four goals (4th team) and eight points (6th team). She was a fixture in starting line-up throughout the season and logged more than 82 mpg. Josan enters this year as one of two seniors and a co-captain for the 2010 edition of the Miners.
Breaking Down The Team Stat Wise
The returning field players have combined for the following career stats:
games played: 282, games started: 178, minutes played: 16,458, minutes per game: 58.4, goals: 28, assists: 53, points: 104, shots: 373, shots on goal: 164, game-winning goals: Six, game-winning assists: 16.
UTEP’s 2010 roster features eight freshmen, which equals the second-highest total in the Kevin Cross era. In 2008, the Miners’ had nine freshmen on the squad. The school record for most freshmen in a single season was in 2000 (14), which was the last year Veronica O’Brien directed the Orange and Blue.
Hey, We Need Coaches Too
Kevin Cross, the winningest coach in school history, is in his 10th year on the sideline for the Miners. Overall he is 117-57-8, including 47-29-5 in league play, since taking over the program in 2001. He was UTEP’s top assistant from 1997-2000, aiding the team to a mark of 38-36-5. While each of his assistants are in the first year as full-time staff members (Heather Clark & Jo Radcliffe), they are both certainly very familiar names to Miner faithful. Clark was a four-year starter on defense for UTEP from 2001-04 while Radcliffe was a fixture in the top-11 in her three years in the Sun City from 2007-09.