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3. FOCUS: UTEP's Yeamans leaves everything on field
October 19th, 2006 4:05AM



Last year, as a junior, Kelli Yeamans missed UTEP's unbelievable victory at heavily favored Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Miners' sweeper had gone down with an ACL tear of her left knee six weeks earlier.

This year, Yeamans tore the ACL in her right knee. It came in a game against Rice where she did not allow Owl star Clory Martin to get a shot on goal. Two days earlier, she had scored against Houston. Conference USA Defensive of the Week honors were a small consolation for the sad truth: Yeamans' career was over with four weeks left in the regular season.

The Miners (13-4-0) are in a four-way race with No. 19 SMU, No. 25 Colorado College and UCF for the regular-season title in the vastly underrated Conference USA. UTEP drew a record crowd of 1,106 fans for the Rice game, and another record could be set when it hosts CC Saturday at University Field, where they are 9-0 this season.

Watching from the sidelines isn't where Yeamans wants to be, but she learned from her injury last season that every game could be her last.

"It wasn't the happy ending I wanted it to be," she told the El Paso Times. "But I left it all on the field."

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