(Courtesy: UTEP Athletics)
EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP soccer program (1-8-1, 0-1 CUSA) welcomes NM State (4-5-1, 1-0 CUSA) Thursday at 7 p.m. MT for the first ever in-conference Battle of I-10.
following that game, the Miners will go back on the road when they take on LA Tech (3-6-1, 0-1 CUSA) in Ruston Sunday at 12 p.m. MT/ 1 p.m. CT.
ABC-7 spoke with UTEP head coach Gibbs Keeton for a preview of Thursday's match against the Aggies.
QUICK LOOK AT LAST WEEK
UTEP dropped two last week, falling 1-0 to Idaho at home and 3-1 in a tough, lightning-delayed match at FIU.
Sheyliene Patolo has become a force to be reckoned with in recent weeks, scoring twice and posting six shots (three on goal) in the last three games.
PACING THE MINERS
Taya Lopez and Sheyliene Patolo lead all players with two goals apiece, while Emerson Kidd, Ashlyn Neireiter, and Mina Rodriguez have each tallied one. Lopez, Nicole Morales, and Olivia Roskos have all recorded one assist.
IN THE RANKS
Tionna Taylor is leading CUSA and ranks 50th in the nation in total saves (50). She is second in the conference and 14th in the country in goalie minutes played (883:41), second in the league in saves per game (3.9), and fifth in CUSA in shutouts (two).
SCOUTING NM STATE
NM State is 4-5-1 on the season including 1-0 in CUSA after a high scoring 4-3 win against LA Tech. The Aggies won their first road match of the season 2-1 at Portland State but are 0-3 away from home since. The team has 14 goals on the year from eight difference goal scorers. Bianca Chacon is pacing the team with four goals. Gianna Valenti is following close behind at three while Loma McNeese has two. Sydnee Johnson, Mya Gonzales, Xitlaly Hernandez, Ariana Leamons, and Shila Rasoul have one goal apiece. Chacon and Loma also top the assists leaderboard for the Aggies, posting four and three, respectively. Johnson and Meredith Scott have contributed an assist each. Keeper duties have been shared between Karolanne Lafortune and Valerie Guha. Lafortune has 25 saves and 12 goals against in eight matches played while Guha has 13 saves and 11 goals against in five appearances.
SERIES HISTORY WITH THE AGGIES
The Orange and Blue are 10-2 all time against the Aggies. The last matchup was a 3-0 loss in Las Cruces on 9/1/22.