Going into its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the program’s tenth year, Miami was defeated 3-0 by third-seeded Florida Friday night in Gainesville.
One of eight conference teams to face postseason competition, the Hurricanes had met 11 of the 64 teams heading into play.
Florida freshman Karly Findorff scored two goals in two minutes in a second half that pushed the Gators past Miami after taking a scoreless tie to the half.
“I thought [Miami] really took us out of our rhythm in the first half,” UF Coach Becky Burleigh said. “I certainly didn’t think we played as well as we’re capable of playing, but we’re going to have to step it up and make a few adjustments if we want to go deep into the tournament.”
Although Florida edged Miami 7-5 in shots during the first half, it wasn’t until an 11-8 advantage in shots in the final 45 minutes that the Gators were able to break the gridlock and put the game out of reach.
“I think the shot count is much more indicative of how this game truly went, but once Florida was able to get that first goal, they really were able to build some momentum on that,” said Coach Tricia Taliaferro.
In the 61st minute, Findorff headed in a free kick from UF sophomore Lauren Hyde for the first goal of her career. Her second score came off a cross from junior Ameera Abdullah inside the box.
UF senior Ashley Harris added an insurance goal in the 77th minute when senior Lauren McAdam, UM’s standout goalie, stopped a shot from sophomore Ashlee Elliott. But the shot rebounded to Harris, who fired the ball into the net for the final goal in a 3-0 game.
McAdam finished her career at Miami as the program leader in saves (307), shutouts (15) and minutes in goal (5,797).
Sophomore Beverly Goebel led the Hurricanes with four shots as freshman Lauren Singer added two more.
UF (17-4-2) has won 13 straight games and shut out 14 opponents this season.
The Hurricanes finished the season (9-7-5) with time in the national polls, wins over top-10 teams in Boston College and North Carolina and a fifth-place finish in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference. The success comes after the 2006 season when the Canes finished dead last in the conference.
Freshman Brittney Steinbruch earned NSCAA National Player of the Week and ACC Freshman of the Year honors and Taliaferro notched ACC Head Coach of the Year.
“I’m really proud of this team,” Taliaferro said. “We stuck to a game plan and created a lot of opportunities. I am so proud of this team. We will get back to work and keep improving and building this program.”
Christina De Nicola may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.