Not even thunder and lightning can stop a Hurricane.
Nor can they stop sophomore defender Tara Schwitter. In Wednesday’s matchup at Florida Gulf Coast, Schwitter scored twice for the Canes, including her goal for the dramatic double-overtime 2-1 win.
After a scoreless first half, UM was the first to put points on the scoreboard with Schwitter’s goal in the 58th minute assisted by junior forward Kate Howarth.
FGC returned with a goal in the 67th minute to tie the game.
The score would remain tied for the rest of regulation, even through 10 minutes of overtime play, until Schwitter’s goal, assisted by freshman forward Shannon Caspar, in the first minute of double-overtime secured the win for the Canes.
UM’s electrifying win follows a strong home showing versus Duquesne.
Despite an hour-long weather delay, the Canes scored two goals in the second half to come out on top with a decisive 3-0 victory over Duquesne this past Sunday afternoon.
“It’s great to see more players making bigger plays in the box,” said head coach Tom Anagnost, pleased with UM’s consistency and high level of play.
After a series of road wins in Utah, the Hurricanes brought the same intensity home to Cobb Stadium, in front of over 450 cheering fans decked out in their finest orange and green.
The Canes started off strong, bombarding the Duquesne defense with solid crosses and powerful shots on the net. In the 11th minute, on an assist from junior midfielder Kim Hutchinson, junior forward Kate Howarth scored on an empty net with Duquesne goalkeeper Ashley Szalwinski out of position.
By halftime, UM had outshot Duquesne 13-1 and closed out the first period with a 1-0 lead.
With just more than a minute into the second half, the Canes proved they were hungry to score with an off-the-crossbar goal from Schwitter, assisted by Howarth.
With a top of the box shot in the 71st minute, Howarth was credited with her second goal of the game, and fifth of the season, on an assist from Caspar.
Freshman Abbey Smith replaced senior goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo after 73 minutes of shutout play. Neither keeper was forced to make a save in all 90 minutes, a credit to UM’s combined defensive efforts.
Even with Duquesne dangerously close to scoring in the 74th minute, junior defender Ali Brennan cleared the ball with a dramatic sliding save to preserve the Canes’ lead and solidify their 3-0 victory.
Facing FGC on Wednesday, Anagnost hopes to see his team continue the style of play exhibited in Sunday’s match with more improvement and more efficient shooting.
“Student support is huge,” Anagnost said. “Our women love to play in front of a home crowd. It’s a great motivation for the players.”
The appreciation was mutual among the Hurricane fans in attendance.
“UM played well, the crowd was really into the game,” sophomore Andrew McCarten said. “It felt good to support the team and the school.”
The game on Sunday was Student Pizza Giveaway Day, sponsored by Category 5, a student organization that promotes Hurricane pride and attendance at all UM athletic events.
“There was lots of excitement and great plays and despite the heat the stands were almost full,” junior Sam Hammerman said. “The crowd was definitely into the game.”
The Hurricanes will return home to face Clemson in a major ACC matchup next week. Last year, the Canes traveled to South Carolina and came away with a 3-0 win against the Tigers.
Still, Miami will look to get off to a quick start in the ACC to try and improve last year’s 4-6 record against conference opponents.
The game is on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in Cobb Stadium.