Miami’s not used to trailing by two goals at home this season. In fact, it hadn’t yet happened prior to last weekend.
But after a weekend matchup with No. 14 Virginia, all that changed. Two goals in the first thirty minutes put the Canes in a hole they couldn’t climb out of, as the Cavaliers left Cobb Stadium with a win, 2-0.
Virginia struck quickly, as sophomore forward Meghan Lencyk received a long pass from freshman forward Lauren Alwine and connected on a shot from 22 yards out, just out of reach of freshman goalie Vikki Alonzo.
“It was key to get the first goal today and Meghan Lenczyk’s goal was well taken,” Virginia head coach Steve Swanson said. “She took advantage of an opportunity and that is something we weren’t doing as often recently.”
The Cavaliers extended their lead in the 35th minute, as senior midfielder Alli Fries headed in a corner kick from junior Amanda Stewart. It’s only the second time in Alonzo’s career that she had given up more than one goal in a game, and the first time that she gave up the double in the first half.
Miami’s defense tightened up in the second half, but the offense couldn’t find their stride. Virginia attempted 21 shots on the day; the Miami attack could only muster four.
“Our game plan was to stay compact, I thought we did a good job with it,” associate head coach Jeff Freeman said after the game. “But a lack of concentration on a couple set pieces led to the goals.”
Miami ends its ACC homestand at 0-1-1, after tying Virginia Tech last Thursday night, 1-1.
Virginia Tech started the scoring in the fourth minute, as a shot from junior forward Emily Jukich rebounded in off the right post. Miami responded with a dramatic goal in the 88th minute from junior midfielder Paulelett Ricks-Chambers towards the back post.
In a reversal from Sunday’s game, Miami managed to get off 20 total shots, while the Canes defense held the Hokies to only 13. After 110 minutes of play, the teams remained deadlocked and had to settle for the tie.
Miami now hits the road for two conference games against Boston College and Maryland. The Canes will first take on Boson College this Thursday at 7 p.m.