UTSA soccer comes up empty in El Paso


Bella Nieto

Mackenzie Kaufhold tracks the ball during a game against HBU. Kaufhold has started four games for UTSA this season.

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (5-4-1, 0-2-0 C-USA), were on the road in El Paso this week for their second conference game of the season against the UTEP Miners (3-7-0, 1-2-0 C-USA). The game took place on Friday night and continued a troubling trend for the ‘Runners: a lot of shots taken, but none found the back of the net.

Things got off to a slow start with only a single shot coming from UTSA’s Ellis Patterson in the first five minutes of action. Heading into the 12th minute UTSA appeared to be controlling the pace of play, registering the first three shots of the game. Things quickly turned from there as UTSA’s Mackenzie Kaufhold committed a foul in the penalty area and sent the Miners to the penalty spot. UTEP’s Jojo Ngongo calmly stepped up to the spot and with a slight hesitation on her run up to send UTSA keeper Jil Schneider the opposite direction, slid the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to give the Miners the early lead. UTSA pressed for an equalizer directly after the goal, but at every turn either missed the mark or were stopped by UTEP keeper Luisa Palmen. Heading into halftime UTSA was outshooting UTEP 8-5, but still remained down on the scoreboard 0-1.

The ‘Runners came out to start the second half with an attacking mindset, registering five shots in the first seven minutes of the half, but were once again kept in check. UTSA continued to keep up the pressure, but that pressure continued to be repelled by a strong UTEP defense and a lack of finishing touch by the ‘Runners. The game could have been put firmly out of reach in the 70th minute as they drew another penalty kick, but this time UTEP’s Kristen Prevosto skied the penalty kick over the crossbar and was unable to extend the lead. Multiple further attempts for the ‘Runners to tie the game came up empty with their last real opportunity coming in the 88th minute. A free kick awarded to UTSA allowed a ball to be played into the box and find the head of Deja Sandoval, who redirected it on goal; unfortunately, Palmen was waiting and shut it down. Time ran out on the ‘Runners shortly afterwards and they went home with a 0-1 loss.

It was a story all too familiar to ‘Runners fans in recent history. UTSA outshot UTEP 22-9 in total shots and 11-3 in shots on goal. Despite that, however, the ‘Runners inability to convert those high number of chances into an actual goal came back to bite them yet again. The loss means UTSA has dropped their first two games in Conference USA play, something they will hope to reverse on Friday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. at home against the University of North Texas Mean Green (6-2-3, 1-1-1 C-USA). For those unable to see the game in person, the game will also be available to watch on CUSA.tv.