Miami battled back from a one-goal deficit once again at Cobb Stadium on Sunday, but ultimately, No. 2 ranked Duke had a bit too much firepower.
After a 1-0 home loss to No. 14 Wake Forest in its ACC opener on Thursday, Miami (4-4-1) gave the visiting Blue Devils (7-2-0) all they could handle before falling 3-2 in overtime.
“It was a restart, we threw numbers in there and we work on set pieces and we’ve done a good job this year on scoring those,” coach Tom Anagnost said. “Ava [Ambrose] had her chances and she put them in, she did what they’re supposed to do.”
Duke’s Cassie Pecht struck with the first goal of the match in just the 12th minute.
In the 32nd minute, Syracuse transfer Tina Romagnuolo suffered a serious injury to her right leg and was carted off the field. Anangnost was unsure of the senior’s status after the match, but did say she was “done for the year.”
Miami would not cave without the standout midfielder and used strong play from sophomore goalkeeper Emily Lillard to stay within one goal.
Sophomore Ashley Flinn nearly tied the score in the 48th minute, but her shot went just over the woodwork.
In the 79th minute, UM would finally prevail.
Senior Kim Hutchinson’s corner kick found the head of senior Ali Brennan, who sent it over to Ambrose. The forward then headed the ball to goal.
The Blue Devils quickly regrouped though, and scored an advancing goal in the 89th minute. Senior Maddy Haller sent a long free kick into the box and redshirt junior Kim DeCesare headed it past Lillard, marking the first time this season that UM allowed multiple goals in a match.
With 80 seconds left, it looked like Miami’s effort would fall short in regulation, but the Canes had more set-piece magic.
As with the first goal, UM had a corner sail through the box, go off a head and then end up with Ambrose. This time, the freshman used her boot to slip it into the net, evening the score with 19 seconds left.
Once the game reached sudden death in overtime, Duke scored a goal that Miami could not respond to.
“You know, we lost our best player,” Anagnost said. “So it’s difficult not just on the field, but just off as well. She’s close to a lot of our players and it’s a bad, devastating thing to happen, but I was proud of the way our women responded.”