The University of Miami Hurricanes soccer team bounced back nicely after a disappointing loss against No. 8 Florida by defeating Florida Gulf Coast 3-0 Tuesday night at Cobb Stadium.
This marked the first time FGCU head coach Jim Blankenship returned to Coral Gables since he coached at UM from 1998-2002.
Opening up the scoring in the 35th minute was junior transfer Barbara Blocker, whose strong header over the hands of the Eagle goalie came after a perfect cross off a corner by junior Lauren Singer.
“We responded really well after the Florida game,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “The team was motivated because they were not happy by the result.”
During the three days leading up to the match, the Canes worked primarily on set pieces in practice, and that attention to detail proved to be the difference maker on the first two goals of the game.
The second goal occurred in the 63rd minute when senior Jessica Wyble’s free kick just outside of the box was headed by junior Brittney Steinbruch.
Less than 10 minutes later sophomore Ashlee Burt filtered a ball through the Gulf Coast defense to senior Beverly Goebel, who lobbed the ball over the oncoming goalie.
Although the Hurricanes had a hard time controlling the ball in the first half – losing the ball quickly and making unnecessary fouls – they came back disciplined.
They finished the game with 11 fouls compared to the Eagles’ six.
“We were trying to solve a lot of things physically in the first half,” Taliaferro said. “We were a little reckless at times.”
Once Singer was inserted into the game, Miami began to take control of the ball and the game as FGCU fell back and began to depend on the counter attack. The Canes outshot the Eagles 13-8 and had four more corner kicks.
“When I came in I wanted to settle the pace of the game down,” Singer said. “My job was to focus the ball, focusing on playing our game, not theirs.”
The closest the Eagles came to scoring was a mishandled save by sophomore goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo, who left the ball precariously loose in the box in the 47th minute .
Alonzo only had to make one save in the game, getting a combined shutout with freshman Ali Brennan.
Miami returns to the field to host the Ball State Cardinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday.