After a disappointing 4-1 loss to LSU last Saturday, the Miami women’s soccer team will look to bounce back against South Florida on Friday in the Hurricanes’ first home match of the season.
USF is winless and scoreless in three games this season, playing Ole Miss to a draw and losing to University of Florida and Georgia.
The ‘Canes are not overlooking their in-state rival, though.
“Any time you play anybody in-state it is always more competitive,” Head Coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “We want to play well at home and get into a rhythm that will set the tone for the rest of the season.”
The Hurricanes are led by senior goalkeeper Lauren McAdam, who has recorded one shutout this season in an 8-0 rout of Alabama A&M, and senior midfielder Sheuneen Ta, who according to Taliaferro, is the team’s best playmaker.
Miami’s offense has received a tremendous boost with the arrival of freshmen Brittney Steinbruch and Lauren Singer. In four games this season, the Hurricanes have netted 12 goals, with Steinbruch recording five and Singer recording four.
“We have more of a flare on the offensive end this season,” Taliaferro said. “The ability of these freshmen to come in and score has really helped us.”
In last season’s meeting, the ‘Canes edged the Bulls 1-0.
To win this time around, Miami must play physical on defense against a gritty USF team that is under first-year Head Coach Denise Schilte-Brown.
“They are very physical and more organized this season,” Taliaferro said. “We need to be able to spread the field and attack with speed.”
The ‘Canes will have the challenge of defending junior forward Lindsay Brauer, who led the Bulls last season in shots, goals and assists.
The Hurricanes are 2-1-1 this season and must continue to win their opening matches, as a harsh ACC schedule approaches. Miami claimed only one conference victory last year, but lost five one-goal games. Taliaferro thinks the ‘Canes improved offense will remedy that problem.
“We want to be in the top half of the ACC [this season] and make it to the NCAAs.”
Zack Loss may be contacted at email@example.com