Leave it to the Lady Canes to salvage something good this weekend.
The University of Miami women’s soccer team stunned the No. 2 defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels 1-0 in front a packed Cobb Stadium Sunday afternoon. This was by far the biggest win in program history.
This was the final home game of the season and the seniors left on the highest of notes.
“We played the best level of soccer,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “We got a great memory from it. It was unbelievable.”
The Canes (8-8-1, 3-4-1) have now beaten three ranked teams in the season and keep their postseason dreams alive.
“I’m so proud,” Taliaferro said. “They showed great character for the situation.”
Senior Beverly Goebel scored the lone goal in the 81st minute on a 25-foot shot from outside the box that she shot without hesitation into the far netting of the goal over the outstretched hands of the goalie.
“I felt it all through me,” Goebel said in a hoarse, barely audible voice. “I knew I had it. I finished it for my team.”
Goebel has been a key member of the Hurricane squad for the last three years after transferring her freshman year from Sacramento State. She was feeling sick throughout the week and was questionable to play, but she persevered and gave it her all.
“I want to thank the team for three great years,” Goebel said. “I’ve never been on such a welcoming team. I dedicated the goal to the team.”
The game was a battle between the two tough ACC teams, with both teams sticking hard to their game plan. The Tar Heels held possession while the Canes stuck to their counter-attack. The Tar Heels were limited to only two shots on goal in the entire game.
“The midfield was able to relieve a lot of pressure,” Taliaferro said. “We made sure to close off the outsides while getting through the seams and gaining momentum.”
Junior Brittney Steinbruch had two shots on goal in the game. The first in the second minute when she was left alone in front of the UNC goalie that was able to block her shot. The second came in the 58th minute when Goebel fed a great ball to Steinbruch who had her shot blocked by the UNC defense.
“No one played poorly,” Taliaferro said. “They played with heart and soul, fired up for the occasion.”
On Thursday night, the University of Miami tied NC State 1-1 in overtime on a day dedicated to honoring the team’s six seniors.
While most players walked down with their parents, backup goalie Austen Everett walked down with her doctor. Everett is back on the team after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year and faced four months of chemotherapy.
“It’s an amazing journey that we’ve been through,” Taliaferro said. “Everett helps mold the character of the team so it was a very emotional moment for her to come and join that senior class.”
The Canes scored their only goal in the 67th minute with a superb goal from junior Lauren Singer. Upon getting the ball in the middle of the box from senior Paulelett Ricks-Chambers, she softly lobbed the ball into the right side of the goal over the goalies reach.
UM finishes its final two games of the regular season in the state of Virginia. They battle Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. on Friday and finish their season against Virginia on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Debora Rubi may be contacted at email@example.com.