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UTEP soccer making strong push to qualify for C-USA Tournament; Interview with assistant coach Stewart Givens

EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP soccer team has had their share of ups and downs both on and off the field.

But the Miners are still in the mix to hopefully qualify for the Conference USA Tournament.

UTEP's last scheduled game at UT-San Antonio was postponed due to positive cases of Covid-19 within the UTEP soccer program.

After nearly a week off, the Miners will return to the pitch Friday when they host North Texas.

It will be the final home game of the regular season for the Miners.

UTEP is 2-1 in conference play, and with three more conference games left to play, the Miners are hoping to make a strong push and finish the season strong in order to qualify for the Conference USA Tournament.

The Miners are currently in third place of the C-USA west division standings, only the top four teams in each division make the tournament.

ABC-7 spoke with UTEP assistant coach Stewart Givens about the team's mindset headed into the final three matches of the season.

Givens is filling in for head coach Kathryn Balogun who is currently out on maternity leave.

Given says the team is taking it one game at a time and that it begins this Friday against North Texas, which also happens to be senior night.

Cayla Payne, Jackie Soto, Adrianna Jimmerson, Isabel Trevino and Nicole Pugsley will all be honored in a pre-match ceremony.

“We are excited to celebrate senior day and our five seniors,” UTEP interim head coach Stew Givens said. “It will be a challenging game against UNT as they have been at the top of the conference for a while. Our players have been really focused on this game since we last played (in conference) against UAB and I know they will be ready to go right from the first whistle.”

UTEP has been perfect in the Sun City with a record of 3-0-1, outscoring the foes by a combined count of 7-3 in those games.

In their most recent home match the Miners scored twice in the final nine minutes to rally past UAB, 2-1, on March 14.

They will need to be in top form with the Mean Green sporting a 3-1 road record on the season.

The Miners will also be looking to knock the rust off before playing three games down the stretch to prepare for the Conference USA Championships. 

UTEP hasn’t played since falling at No. 15 Oklahoma State on March 20, with a match at UTSA on March 27 postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing for the Miners.

The match is the final one at home for UTEP, which will close out the regular season on the road before the Conference USA Championships.

The Miners will make up the game at UTSA on April 5 before squaring off against Rice on April 8.

The C-USA Championships are slated to run from April 13-17.

Texas Sports

Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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