UTEP rallies past Soccer, 3-2, in overtime and advances to NCAA second round
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas built a 2-0 advantage over the game's first 80 minutes, but UTEP scored twice in regulation's final 10 minutes to force overtime before netting the game-winner less than five minutes into the extra frame as the Miners earned a 3-2 overtime victory in front of 1,479 fans during the first round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship at Myers Stadium on Friday, Nov. 11.
Texas (11-9-1) saw its season come to an end after earning its fifth-consecutive NCAA Championship bid, while UTEP (20-3-1) won its first tourney game during its first NCAA appearance. Notably, despite incurring their first loss at Myers Stadium in NCAA competition, the Longhorns closed their season with their sixth consecutive 10-plus win campaign under head coach Chris Petrucelli.
UTEP's Jami Tullius scored in the 81st minute and then struck again in the 89th minute to tie the score and force overtime, where Leslie Platz netted the game-winning score to send the Miners into a second-round match-up against No. 3 seed and sixth-ranked California on Sunday, Nov. 13, at Myers Stadium at 2 p.m. Central.
Texas outshot UTEP by a 29 to 21 margin during the game, but the Miners held a 12-11 advantage in the second half, including a 6-0 advantage while controlling play after scoring their first goal. In overtime, Kia Samms had two of the Miners' three shots - both saves by Texas goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger (Sugar Land, Texas) - before feeding Platz for the winning score.
The Longhorns got on the board in the 30th minute when Amy Burlingham (Costa Mesa, Calif.) took the rebound of Kelsey Carpenter's (Euless, Texas) shot and fed it past UTEP goalkeeper Brittany Popoff for a 1-0 UT lead. Burlingham's goal was her fifth of the season and gave her nine points in the Horns' last nine games. UT then increased its lead to 2-0 in the 51st minute when Ashley Foster (Athens, Ga.) settled a Burlingham cross from the right side and slid a shot past Popoff from eight yards out. Notably, Kasey Moore (Mission Viejo, Calif.) started the play out of the backfield when she sent a long ball to Burlingham down the right flank.
Carrie Schmit narrowly missed giving Texas a 3-0 lead in the 74th minute when she corralled a pass and sent a hard shot toward UTEP's net. Popoff made the save, but juggled the ball sending it right back to Schmit, who fired a point-blank shot that bounced over Popoff's head and ricocheted off the crossbar before a Miners defender cleared it off the goal line. After Texas had another shot cleared off the line, Tullius headed a Sams' cross with her back to the goal that found its way past a diving Pfenninger with just under 10 minutes to play to make it a one-goal game. A little over six minutes later, Tullius broke free off a deflected pass from Cara Nordin and ripped a shot from six yards out into the back of the UT net to knot the score at 2-2. From there, UT pushed the ball into the attacking third, but could not get a quality shot off before the match moved to overtime. After Pfenninger made two amazing stops to keep the score tied in the first minute of the extra period, Platz corralled a feed off a long run from Sams in the fifth minute and fired a shot inside the near post cap the comeback. While Popoff moved to 20-3-1 on the year with a six-save effort, Pfenninger (9-7-0) shouldered the loss despite making six stops.
Headlining Texas' attack on the night was Burlingham, who tallied three points on a goal and an assist, and Foster, who fired a game-high eight shots while netting her fourth goal of the year. UTEP, meanwhile, had its offense paced by Tullius, who netted a pair of goals to take over the team's scoring lead with 38 total points, and Sams, who assisted on the Miners' first and third goals.