EL PASO, Texas — A lethal combination of defense and timely offense led the Utah State soccer team to a 1-0 road win against UTEP on Friday at University Field.
With the win, the Aggies made history by becoming the first Utah State squad to record shutouts in its first three matches of the season. Utah State is now 3-0-0 this season, while handing the Miners their first loss of the year, falling to 2-1-0.
The Miners started quickly with four shots in the first eight minutes of action. UTEP forced sophomore goalkeeper Jeannie Woller into action with two early saves. Overall, the Miners took the first five shots of the match.
"Jeannie again came up with some game-changing saves in this game. So, I think the shutout is well earned, but this game was really a team effort," USU head coach Heather Cairns said. "We got what turned out to be the game-winning goal a couple minutes into the second half. So, UTEP went direct after that. Every person on the field was defending and battling for balls. It was a total team effort."
In the 30th minute, freshman defender Karlee Campbell took Utah State's first shot, a header that was saved by UTEP's Sarah Dilling. In the 37th minute, Dilling was pushed again after a shot by sophomore defender Lexie Henrie.
At the end of the first 45 minutes, neither team had found the back of the net with Woller and Dilling making two saves each. UTEP outshot Utah State 6-2 in the first half, but the Aggies took two of the final three shots of the half.
Utah State got on the board in the 47th minute when junior midfielder Kyle Dibb took a through ball and snuck it past Dilling to break the scoreless tie. Freshman midfielder Jayne Robison earned her second assist of the season on the goal. Dibb became the first Aggie to score multiple goals this season with her second of the season.
Hannah Nicholson challenged Woller once again in the 69th minute, but the sophomore keeper was up to the task with the save. Lauren Katada almost scored with a header that beat Woller, but senior defender Jessica Hoskin-Killpack cleared the ball in the 72nd minute.
For the match, UTEP outshot the Aggies 13-5, including 7-3 in the second half. The Miners also had five corner kicks, compared to two by USU. In the save department, it was Utah State that came out on top, leading 6-3.
Utah State is back in action on Monday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. against Nebraska. The Cornhhuskers are only the second Big Ten team to come to Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field after losing to Northwestern in 2001. Overall, USU is 0-2 against the Big Ten with a loss to Indiana in 2000.
Live stats for Monday's match will be available on USU's athletics website. There will not be any video streaming available for the match.
Admission to all home USU soccer matches at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field is free.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.