Laramine, Wyoming (August 20, 2019) – For the third straight year, the Wyoming Cowgirl soccer team will kick off its regular season on the road with two games to start the 2019 campaign. The Cowgirls will face the UTEP Miners on Thursday in the season opener followed by a contest with the New Mexico State Aggies on Sunday. Thursday’s match is set for 7 p.m. MT at University Field in El Paso, Texas, while the Sunday contest is scheduled for 12 p.m. at the New Mexico State Soccer Complex in Las Cruces, N.M.
“We need to continue to focus on us as a team and get better day by day,” head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “We have to bring the same energy and intensity to training that we have over the past week. Obviously, I think it’s great to take a young team on the road, get a little bonding and it’s good to see a different field and team on the other side. That will be a great first progression for us. UTEP is a good team and going on the road it never easy. We know we will have our hands full. After the game on Thursday night, we will focus in on New Mexico State.”
Last time out, UW won its only exhibition of the season with a 4-2 win over FC Boulder on Saturday in Laramie. Both teams had opportunities in the early going of the contest but each came up empty. The Cowgirls would strike first with 17:41 on the clock with a nice move by sophomore Amber Vokoun to make it 1-0. Over the next 15 minute stretch, there was only one shot taken by freshman Keelie Wortmann which was saved by FC Boulder. In the 33rd minute, senior Summer Taube made it a 2-0 lead for UW. She floated the ball in off a free-kick 15-yards inside the midfield line. It was quiet the rest of the half with the Cowgirls going into the locker room up two goals. In the second half, FC Boulder came out strong with three shots in the first 15 minutes and connected with the back of the net in the 58th minute. Wyoming responded in the 67th minute with a goal by freshman Sydney Miller who drove a shot past the goalie from the right side of the box. The Cowgirls increased that lead to 4-1 after a goal from sophomore Indianna Asimus who dribbled up the middle and pushed it past the goalkeeper. FC Boulder scored a goal late in the game but the UW went on to the 4-2 win.
Wyoming returns three starters and 14 letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 12-4-4 overall, 7-2-2 in the Mountain West and took home a share of the MW regular-season title. In all, the squad consists of four seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores, and 12 freshmen.
Entering his eighth season at the helm, Cuadrado has an overall record of 66-55-19 during his tenure at UW and a 36-28-8 mark in league play. Former Cowgirl Taylor Burton was named the Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-MW and fellow senior Annika Clayton was earned Second Team All-MW honors, while sophomore Savannah Warner was named to the All-Newcomer Team in 2018.
Several individuals will be looked upon to contribute during the 2019 campaign, including the seniors Michaela Stark and Summer Taube. Stark played in 14 of the Cowgirls games with two starts. She scored one goal, two assists and had five shots on goal. Taube completed her junior campaign with three goals, which included the game-winner against New Mexico. She also had two assists and 12 shots on goal in the 20 contests.
The Cowgirls currently hold the longest non-conference home unbeaten streak in the country among D-I programs. Wyoming’s last loss at home against a non-conference opponent came on Sept. 22, 2013, to Idaho State in double overtime. The Cowgirls are 13-0-3 during the streak.
UTEP went 1-0-0 during the exhibition season with a 2-0 win over Eastern New Mexico. This will be the season and home opener for the team in 2019.
The Miners return six starters and 13 letterwinners from a squad that went 7-8-4 overall and 2-5-3 in Conference USA during the 2018 campaign. That includes senior defender Lauren Crenshaw and junior midfielder Adrianna Jimmerson. Crenshaw finished the year with a team-high seven goals and 15 points plus one assist while Jimmerson had four goals and eight points. UTEP is coached by Kathryn Balogun who is in her first season with the program and her seventh overall.
This will be the sixth meeting between the two squads. UTEP leads the series 4-1. The last time the two met was Sept 1, 2017. The Cowgirls came out on top with a 3-1 victory in Laramie.
New Mexico State will open up its 2019 season with a contest against Abilene Christian on Friday night before taking on the Cowgirls.
The Aggies return four starters and 13 letterwinners from a squad that went 2-16-0 overall and 1-7-0 in the WAC during the 2018 campaign. Junior Emma Smith and sophomore Alexa Barrera are the teams’ top returners. Smith started in all 17 contests and recorded three assists, while Barrera had four assists and two goals. As a team, New Mexico State scored 16 goals and averaged 12.1 shots per game. NMSU is coached by Rob Baarts who is in his second season with the program.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two squads. NMSU leads the series 2-1. The last time the two met was Sept. 4, 2016. The Cowgirls came out on top with a 4-1 victory on the road.
Live stats and video will be available for both games and will be available at GoWyo.com, along with live stats. Follow @Wyo_soccer on twitter for updates throughout the game.