Canes fall to Cougars 1-0 for first loss of season

EYE ON THE BALL: Midfielder Paulelett Ricks-Chambers awaits the throw-in from BYU defender Dana Oldroyd Tuesday night. Miami lost their first game of the season, 1-0. Photo by Stephanie Wehrung // Hurricane Staff.

As the cliché goes, all good things must come to an end.

Unfortunately for Miami, the women’s soccer team wasn’t exempt from the saying, as it battled through 68 scoreless minutes against Brigham Young University Tuesday night at Cobb Stadium.

In the 69th minute, midfielder Auna Janis scored the game winner when a rebound from forward Lauren Anderson’s shot, inside the box, deflected off Hurricane freshman goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo for the 1-0 difference.

Alonzo, who was recently named the ACC Player of the Week, had recorded five straight shutouts going into the match and allowed only the second goal of the season.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the result, but I think we played very, very good soccer,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “This is a good learning experience for us because none of us like to lose, so we’ll remember that if we get in a situation where the game is tight. With this team and the character we show, we’ll come out on top the next time we’re put in that.”

The Hurricanes (7-1-0) had their share of opportunities against the Cougars (5-4-0) with four corner kicks, but lost 3-2 in shots on goal.

Perhaps Miami’s best scoring chance came when sophomore forward Brittney Steinbruch passed a defender in the box and shot wide right as the goalie approached.

Later in the 66th minute, Steinbruch crossed a perfect ball to an empty back door.

After scoring in each of the first six games, Steinbruch, who has a team-high eight goals on the season, hasn’t found the back of the net in two straight.

On a corner by junior forward Paulelett Ricks-Chambers in the 72nd minute, defender Danielle Griebel headed the ball just wide and several attempted shots by Cane attackers were blocked.

“When you’re starting to get to the top level, everybody’s talented, knows the game and everybody’s technical,” Taliaferro said. “Sometimes a little extra factor is, ‘can you dig just a little bit deeper than somebody else?’ I think we did create an opportunity, but when you play these top teams in the country, you have to dig a little bit deeper.”

Early on, Cougar forward Katie Larkin gave the Hurricane defense trouble with two shots on goal before being shut down the remainder of the 90 minutes.

“We weren’t doing anything special,” Taliaferro said. “She’s very dangerous, but playing in the ACC, in the hardest conference in the country, we’re used to playing her. We play Brittney [Steinbruch] every day in practice. We obviously noticed her and wanted to defend her as a team.”

Miami heads on its California road trip for games against second-ranked UCLA (5-0-1) Friday night and San Diego (5-2-0) Sunday morning before beginning its ACC schedule next week.

“I think we’re excited, especially now that we know what it feels like,” Griebel said. “We don’t want to feel it again. If we come out with two wins it’d be awesome for the team and it’d be good to start ACC [play] and build more confidence there.”