Powered by four first-half goals, including three in a four-minute stretch, UTEP rolled past Prairie View A&M, 4-0, at University Field Sunday afternoon.
The Miners (3-0-0) received an own goal, in addition to strikes from Lauren Katada, Brittany Kindzierski and Mackenzie German. Kenah Linger and Jade Babcock got in on the act with assists while netminders Sarah Dilling and Chandra Morden teamed up to shutout the Lady Panthers (0-3-0).
UTEP outshot the visitors, 18-4, including 9-2 in shots on goal. With the triumph the Miners are off to their first 3-0-0 start since 2008 and the fourth such opening to a year during Kevin Cross’ era.
The Miners didn’t waste much time in getting things going, with senior Katie Dorman delivering a beautiful ball into the area. It bounced through a bevy of defenders and eventually deflected off one of them into the back of the net in the 13th minute.
UTEP was just getting warmed up, though, as soon its offense started to click on all cylinders. The result was three goals over the next four minutes, affording the home side a 4-0 lead with 17 minutes to play in the period.
Katada initiated the sequence by one-touching the cross to the far wing past a diving keeper to make it 2-0 at 23:30. Before PVAMU could catch its breath, the Orange and Blue lit up the scoreboard again.
This time it was Kindzierski doing the honors, roofing the shot for her first goal of the season at 24:53.
German capped the sequence with finishing a beautiful pass from Babcock to notch her initial goal of her collegiate career at 27:29.
The Miners put it on cruise control for the remainder of the period, easing into the break armed with the 4-0 advantage.
Play turned a bit chippy in the second stanza, with some hard fouls infiltrating into the play. UTEP kept its composure in spite of it, and focused on playing smart, ball possession soccer.
The Miners did still look to pad their four-cushion advantage if given the opportunity, and Babcock nearly delivered. She used some nifty dribbling to create space and then ripped a shot on target, but it bounced off the post and out of play.
At the other end of the pitch tight marking prevented any really good scoring threats for the Lady Panthers. The best try came in the 79th minute when Gabriella Ramos found herself alone at the top of the area, but Morden cleanly collected the shot.
The Miners controlled play from that point on, closing out the contest in style.
UTEP will be back in action when it plays at Stephen F. Austin at 6 p.m. MT on Friday.
Visit UTEPAthletics.com for all the latest on UTEP soccer, in addition to checking out the team’s Facebook Page and Twitter account.