The Hurricanes women’s soccer team (6-3) blew past Big East rival Providence College 2-1 on Sunday, improving their conference play record to 3-0.
It seemed the game’s momentum was all on Providence’s side at the beginning, when sophomore Veronica Bakke wasted no time scoring in the second minute. The ‘Canes looked as though they were struggling on defense, but were able to break through in the middle of the first half, when junior Allison McWhinney scored from an impressive pass by freshman Lindsey Yach.
“Right after they scored I think we woke up and said ‘we can’t do this, we have to pull together,'” said Yach, who ended up scoring the game-winning goal for the ‘Canes.
Indeed they did wake up, playing much more offensively for the remainder of the game. Beginning late in the first half, the Hurricanes were able to keep the ball in Providence territory, totaling over four times as many shots as the Friars. Providence goalie Caitlin Pickul had 18 saves on the day.
In the second half it was evident that the 85 plus degree-heat was getting to Providence as they got winded easily and struggled to keep up. Miami’s game-winning goal came with 17 minutes left when junior Michelle Provenzano connected with Yach, who scored.
UM goalie Rachel Elsby had a save in the first period, but the Hurricanes’ strong defense kept her from seeing any more direct action for the remainder of the game.
“I think the overall effort and organization are what [made us win],” said head coach Tricia Taliaferro. “It wasn’t our prettiest win, but we were able to get organized and execute a lot of the stuff we worked on in practice.”
When Yach scored, she felt “there was a lot of pressure off. We needed to score and win because this was a big game for us-this whole weekend was.”
Indeed it was, as the ‘Canes also took care of the Boston College Eagles 3-1 at home on Friday night during their second Big East game of the season. Britney Butcher, Gitana Gotay and Laura West were responsible for the goals on Friday.
The Hurricane defense made solid stops during the second half, contributing to the fact that the ball remained in Friar territory. The team seemed to gel together to complete their mission.
“I thought we did well, we definitely pulled together at the end to go ahead and to keep the lead and not let them get back in the game,” said McWhinney. “I definitely think that we took them out of the game.”
The recipe for success? Teamwork. Coach Taliaferro believes what sealed the victory was: “The ability to have people coming in- the whole team played, it wasn’t just the [starting] eleven.”
The Miami women’s soccer team seems to be all about getting the job done, and not necessarily worrying about cosmetics along the way. Their focus on the end result has paid off so far in conference play.
“For the most part, we did what we had to in order to win,” said Yach.
The ‘Canes continue non-conference play at Florida International University on Wednesday night in Miami.
You can reach Mellisa Teich at email@example.com