Women’s soccer poised to win big

The women’s soccer team has already started off to a strong start this season, vanquishing both the No. 10 University of Central Florida and the No. 9 Samford. The two victories enabled the Hurricanes to move from No.15 to No. 9 in the southeast region standings.

After a tournament at the University of North Carolina this weekend, the ‘Canes will head back to Miami to face two regional rivals this week.

They will meet Florida International University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at home. Two days later they will make a short trek to Boca Raton to challenge Florida Atlantic University at 7 p.m.

The ‘Canes were excited and confident about their performance in the tournament and for the rest of the upcoming season.

Sports Information Assistant Director Scott Moody expressed his confidence in the players.

“The wins this weekend are something really good to build on,” Moody said.

Centerback Kristen Chapman feels really confident about the team as a whole this year.

“Our mentality is different this year,” Chapman said. “We go out and train really hard and every practice is really intense.”

Chapman also said that this season everyone is focused on playing for the team, which will help them work together to beat their opponents.

Most of the team has experience working with the one another, having lost only five of the 24 member roster for the 2006 season.

In 2005, the Hurricanes tied against the aggressive FIU Panthers. Despite having attempted twice as many shots as the Panthers, the ‘Canes were unable to score against their cross-town rivals.

“Last year [the Panthers] were very physical with us because it’s a big game for them,” forward Rebecca Tweneboah said. “Hopefully we beat them this year.”

The Hurricanes hold a 4-2-1 record against the Panthers since 1998.

Miami defeated the FAU Owls last season, winning by a single goal. After winning 2-1, the ‘Canes extended their record against the Owls to 5-3.

The team is confident that they will be able to dominate the Owls on Friday.

“I think we’ll beat [FAU] again,” Tweneboah said.

The ‘Canes finished 8-11-1 for the regular 2005 season and finished 10th in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. The team also set a Miami record with back-to-back wins in the ACC tournament against Maryland and Clemson.

This season, the team’s goal is to make it to the top five in the ACC and make it to the NCAA tournament said Tweneboah and Chapman.

“We are a very prideful group and our mindset is to do whatever it takes to be successful in the ACC and the NCAA,” Head Coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “Every individual has put their trust in each other and the team as a whole has never been as strong.”

Khris Parker may be contacted at k.parker1@umiami.edu.