Coming into Sunday’s game against Virginia Tech, Britney Butcher, the Big East Player of the Week, in the first week of the season, said that, “the team felt a sense of urgency,” after coming off of three straight losses.
“We were also motivated by the fact that it was our first conference game of the season,” added Butcher. The team responded to that urgency as they came together to beat winless Virginia Tech 2-1. UM improved to 4-3.
The Miami Hurricanes Women’s soccer team came into the 2002 season with a bang, winning their first three games under first year coach Tricia Taliaferro. Unfortunately, after opening the season strong, the ‘Canes sort of fizzled out. They outscored their first three opponents by a margin of 13-1, but in their next three games, Miami got outscored 8-3.
This weekend’s Miami Invitational tournament provided a great opportunity for the team to grab a couple of wins at home, however; they dropped their first game 5-2 to the undefeated UNC-Charlotte 49ers.
“The team was not pleased with their effort in Friday’ game, and they knew they had to make some improvements against Virginia Tech,” Taliaferro said.
The team made those improvements and kept Virginia Tech from getting their first win of the season.
As a generally uneventful first half wound down, the ‘Canes failed to take advantage of several scoring opportunities. When it looked like the teams would go into half time with the score tied at 0-0, Lisa Gomez came down the left side of the field with a defender close on her back. The Virginia Tech defender tripped Gomez in the penalty box, and sent her diving on the grass.
Miami’s senior defensive leader made the most of her penalty kick, tallying her first goal of the season and putting Miami up 1-0.
As the second half opened, the teams battled back and forth for control of the game. Virginia Tech got the spark they needed to shift the momentum in their direction as Jessica Myers scored a breakaway goal to tie the game.
Six minutes later, it looked like Tech would strike again as a wide-open player headed toward an empty Miami net, but Gomez came out of nowhere to block the shot and save the game.
After taking seven shots on goal in the first half, Miami managed only one in the second half. Luckily that one shot won the game for them.
With just 15 minutes remaining, Miami’s two leading goal scorers, Butcher and freshman prodigy Lindsey Yach connected on a beautiful give-and-go as Butcher cut for the goal and drilled Yach’s pass into the net to give the ‘Canes a 2-1 lead and the win. The goal gave Butcher her team leading seventh of the season, and her first since she scored consecutive hat tricks in the first two games of the season. Yach recorded her first ever assist as a Miami Hurricane.
Senior goalie Rachel Elsby also had a solid game in goal making four saves.
The Hurricanes continue their Big East schedule this Friday at 7 PM when they host the Eagles of Boston College.
You can reach Nate Johnson at NPJ44@aol.com.