A header by the Miners off a corner kick in the 81st minute proved to be the deciding factor in the Wildcats 1-0 loss verses the University of Texas- El Paso. The loss drops ACU to 0-2-0 as the team will return home after games in Arizona and El Paso.
“Our team competed well today and moved the ball around great for a majority of the game and often had it in our attacking third quite a bit,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “Now we just need to take advantage of our chances when we are down there.”
The Wildcats were led by junior goal keeper Kelsey Dombrowski, who finished with seven saves. ACU trailed UTEP in both shots (18-10) and shots on goal (8-3). Senior Lindsey Jones and sophomores Chantal Kinsey and Baylee Mitchell were the only Wildcats to put up shots on goal, but were not able to find the back of the netting.
The Miners had a golden opportunity in the 18th minute with a header off a free kick, only to have it turned away by Dombrowski. UTEP continued to pressure as the half wore on, particularly in the final 10 minutes of the first half. The Miners used a quick spin move but the ACU defense blocked the shot. The rebound returned possession back to the Miners, whose shot forced Dombrowksi to make a diving save, keeping the game scoreless at halftime.
The Wildcats were forced to rely on the defense early in the second half, as the Miners got up two quick shots in the opening four minutes. Both shots ended up being wide, while Dombrowski hit one away, forcing it to strike the post.
ACU regrouped well and earned two corner kicks down the stretch. Both times, though, the UTEP goal keeper used her athleticism to win the service and ushered the ball out of the defensive zone. Both teams ended up about even in fouls called, with the Wildcats earning one more, 11-10.
Between both games against Arizona and UT- El Paso, Dombrowski gave up five goals while saving 13. She also saw 40 shots (22 from Arizona, 18 from UTEP) come her way.
The Wildcats will play two more games on the road before their first home game of the season. The team’s next match comes against University of Texas- San Antonio in Austin on Friday, August 28.