Soccer, Sports

UM makes ACC Tournament with win over No. 1 Seminoles

Senior Kate Howarth (white jersey, third from left) moves downfield during Miami’s 1-0 win over the top-ranked Noles, which put the Canes in the ACC Tournament. Nicholas Gangemi // Contributing Photographer 

It is tough to think of a regular season game bigger than the one Miami played on Thursday night.

The Hurricanes hosted the nation’s No. 1 team, which just happened to be their archrival, Florida State. It was also senior night at Cobb Stadium, and Miami needed a win to qualify for the ACC Tournament.

Led by the fantastic play of junior Tara Schwitter, Miami (9-6-3, 4-4-2 ACC) rose to the challenge, outplaying the top-ranked Seminoles (15-2, 8-2) en route to a 1-0 victory, with the lone goal coming in the 89th minute.

“It’s the first time any of these players have been to the ACC Tournament,” coach Tom Anagnost said. “I mean, we just beat the number one team in the country. The kids were fabulous. They played – they executed exactly how they’re supposed to and the effort was extraordinary, and I am as proud as I’ve been since I’ve been here, as I just told them.”

In addition to playing the nation’s No. 1 team, two UM starters – senior Ali Brennan and sophomore Maddie Simms – were suspended due to a fight during the team’s upset win over Maryland. They joined a long list of Canes who have missed games this season, mostly due to injury.

“They’ve been ready to go, and with us, we try to get them comfortable in their role and the kids have adapted really well,” Anagnost said of adjusting to new lineups this season. “If these kids are focused, and they try real hard, we’re a really good team.”

Watching how UM played the Seminoles, there was no doubting that assessment. The Canes had numerous scoring chances in the first half, including a free kick by Schwitter that drew an outstanding diving save from FSU goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, along with a header from senior Jordan Roseboro that rolled over the crossbar.

It seemed Miami might have lost its opportunity by not converting in the first session, as the second was much more even. However, UM broke through and scored the game winner with 78 seconds left. Schwitter played a through ball to freshman Ashley Flinn, who was making a run from the right side of the field and calmly slid the ball home.

“The goalie actually got a hand on it and it was rolling really slow into the goal and I was just – we were just sitting there hoping it was going to go in, and when it did, it was a great feeling,” Flinn said. “Especially with one of our seniors not able to play this last game, there was nothing the team wanted more than to give her another opportunity out on the field.”

The victory sent the Hurricanes into the ACC Tournament, the first time UM has qualified since 2008.

“Words can’t explain what it means. This is my third year, and we’ve been so close the past two years,” Schwitter said. “We’re always like right at the borderline with Virginia Tech, so it feels good to finally be a couple points ahead of them and get into the ACC Tournament.”

Miami ended up suffering a 2-1 overtime loss to Maryland in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Sunday. However, Flinn said Thursday that she thought the FSU win would put the Canes in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

“We were a little worried,” she said. “We didn’t have as good of a preseason as we did last year, so we weren’t sure if we were going to even make the NCAA Tournament without this win, so this was a huge win for us.”

Miami will learn its postseason fate when the field is announced on Nov. 5.

October 29, 2012

Reporters

Alex Schwartz


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami quarterback Malik Rosier was about to head home to Mobile, Alabama, when the bos ...

University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who grew up in Miami and is the son of the for ...

How’s your landscaping after Hurricane Irma? Did you get it cleaned up (and replaced) as fast as the ...

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The coach of University of Miami’s next opponent, one of the youngest college foo ...

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clear Sunday, just minutes after stepping foot ...

UM students recount how they rode out the storm called Hurricane Irma. ...

The University’s decision to close classes well in advance of the hurricane enabled the successful e ...

The University is moving swiftly and diligently to clear widespread downed trees, power lines, and o ...

The University of Miami continues the recovery effort from Hurricane Irma. ...

With Hurricane Irma past them, the Hurricanes are fully focused on their matchup against Toledo on S ...

View some of the best images from the Miami women's tennis team's picture day in advance o ...

The men's cross country team moved up one spot to No. 14 in the South Region in the NCAA Divisi ...

Following a stretch of 17 days without a match due to Hurricane Irma, the Miami soccer team will be ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team will have its fall season opener delayed by a week. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.