EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- UTEP senior goalkeeper Tionna Taylor matched her career high with eight saves in a 2-0 setback against PAC-12 member Arizona State Sunday at University Field.
Taylor kept a clean sheet through 52 minutes of action before the Sun Devils’ (3-0-1) Suzuka Yosue put in a rebound off a diving save on Enasia Colon’s shot. Gabi Rennie capped the scoring for ASU in the 84th minute.
The Miners (0-3-1) forced two saves from Sun Devil keeper Pauline Nelles. The first came in the 53rd minute, immediately after the restart, when Mina Rodriguez had a try at goal. In the 75th minute Leslie Gutierrez lofted a ball that was smothered by Nelles.
UTEP earned two corner kicks while successfully defending three from the visitors.
“It’s not often that we get to challenge ourselves against a great opponent, a Power Five opponent,” head coach Gibbs Keeton said. “I was really proud of our team today. It wasn’t just a good first half, it was us making sure we created some chances to go to goal in addition to super solid defending. This is a game where you don’t really know if it’s going to benefit you in the long run, and it’s going to pay dividends for our team once we get to conference. It was a super opponent and a really good outing from the Miners today.”
The Miner defense was tested early, fending off two corner kicks and four shots in the opening three minutes. Taylor saved a shot from Colon off the second corner.
Later, in the 28th minute, Taylor recorded another save off a shot by Rennie. The Miners’ tried to get the offense going in the 40th minute but were called offside. UTEP was flagged off again four minutes later just before the half.
The Orange and Blue had an opportunity in the 50th minute with a corner kick, but the Sun Devil defense was able to clear it away.
After ASU went ahead in the 53rd minute, the Miners once again went on the attack and tallied two shots in seven minutes. Rodriguez had looked for the equalizer before Nicole Morales hit a shot just wide.
Taylor kept UTEP in the game with two more stops before Arizona State found its insurance goal.
The Miners return to action with two games next week. First, they take on Cal Baptist on the road at 8 p.m. MT Thursday before welcoming UIW to University Field Sunday, September 3, at 1 p.m. MT.