Neither torrential rain nor driving wind could dampen the Hurricane spirit as the University of Miami soccer team closed out their home season with a hard fight against Maryland.
Sunday’s victory, following a 3-2 upset over Boston College Thursday, closed out the Hurricane’s homestand with just two losses on the season at Cobb Stadium.
Thursday’s pregame ceremony celebrated seniors Vikki Alonzo, Ashlee Burt and Brooke Van Aman.
“Four years goes by fast, you really don’t realize how quickly it goes by,” said Van Aman, “You really have to cherish every moment.”
Senior goalkeeper Alonzo offered a few words of wisdom.
“Don’t waste a minute, every time you step in the field, you have to give it your all,” she said.
Sidelined for the 2011 season, senior midfielder Burt has assumed a leadership role in supporting her team.
“Soccer has always been my passion and my family has always been such a great support system for me,” Burt said.
Maryland took an early lead with midfielder Olivia Wagner’s free kick goal. The Hurricanes would not be discouraged but instead incited by the deficit.
Though the Terrapins maintained possession for a majority of the game, the Hurricanes made up for it with high-intensity play. Aggressive defense and controlled passes from junior defender Ali Brennan helped to ignite the Hurricane offense and clear the ball into the Maryland end.
In a tremendous display of athleticism and focus, Alonzo fended off a flurry of shots and rebound attempts from Maryland forwards, giving her team an offensive opportunity.
With precision and quickness, Miami moved the ball up the field through the efforts of junior forward Kate Howarth and sophomore defender Tara Schwitter. Miami tied the game with a goal buried in the back of the net by Howarth in the thirty-eighth minute off a deflected shot by junior midfielder Kim Hutchinson.
Miami entered the second half tied with Maryland 1-1. Despite a lightning watch delay, the Canes came out fighting. In the sixty-second minute, Howarth gave Miami a 2-1 lead with a header goal off a corner kick by Schwitter. The goal marked Howarth’s ninth of the season as she leads the team in goals scored.
The rain continued to fall but the intensity of both teams was not affected in the least. As the half ticked away, both Miami and Maryland fought hard to maintain control of the ball. The Hurricanes proved to be too much for the Terrapins as the final seconds ticked away and solidified the Miami’s 2-1 win.
The Hurricane intensity persisted after a huge upset win over Boston College Thursday. Looking back on her four years with the Miami Hurricanes soccer team, senior forward Brooke Van Aman noted Thursday’s game against BC as one of the most memorable games. “It was a must-win game situation,” said Van Aman.
In the seventy-third minute, Boston College narrowed the Hurricane’s lead by one with a header goal from senior midfielder Julia Bouchelle.
Miami answered just two minutes later with a goal from junior midfielder Jordan Roseboro, assisted by freshman forward Ashley Flinn and Kate Howarth.
The flurry of scoring continued with another Boston College goal in the seventy-seventh minute by junior forward Victoria Dimartino.
The Canes finished out the game with strong defense to maintain their 3-2 lead and victory over Boston College.
Still, for Miami’s graduating seniors, this final home game closes a chapter on a big part of their lives.
“This team really has become a second family for me,” said Alonzo, “A kind of home away from home.”
Miami will close out the season with upcoming matches against Florida State and Virginia.