Following a pair of one-goal losses to ACC foes, Miami was looking to bounce back in a big way on Friday night. The Roadrunners of UT-San Antonio came to Cobb Stadium with just one win on the season, but they gave the Canes all they could handle and nearly forced a draw.
Ultimately, Miami walked away with a tough 1-0 victory over UTSA (1-7) to move to 5-4-1 (0-2 ACC) in its 2012 campaign.
“We didn’t play well, and we didn’t finish our opportunities, and we could’ve ended the game earlier, but we stayed with it and I think we picked it up a little more as the game went on,” UM coach Tom Anagnost said. “I think, as my assistant, Matt Kagan, said today to the team, it does show a good team when you don’t play well and you can still win the game.”
Miami had several chances throughout the match and outshot UTSA by a margin of 18-4, including 11-1 in the first half. The Roadrunners also racked up 15 fouls in the match, while UM had just five. Three players from UTSA were given yellow cards during the game, and coach Steve Ballard received a red card at the end of the game.
Senior forward Kate Howarth scored the game’s only goal in the 74th minute. The Grand Blanc, Mich. native dribbled toward the end line and struck the ball about seven yards out from a tough angle. However, it bounced off a UTSA defender and into the back of the net.
“She got end line and she whipped the ball in low, and low is what she’s supposed to do,” Anagnost said of Howarth’s goal. “Her mentality was fantastic, especially in the second half. She was cheering everybody on, she was pushing forward, she wanted – there was urgency, leadership and she had a strong mentality and that’s what we want all of our players to have.”
UTSA was Miami’s final nonconference foe of the regular season and eight ACC opponents remain on the schedule. Up next for the Canes is a road trip to North Carolina this weekend, where they will play N.C. State on Thursday and the Tar Heels on Sunday.
Howarth feels that this win over UTSA could provide a spark for Miami as the team enters a tough stretch.
“I think right now is going to be the turning point. I think tonight was a big win,” she said. “We didn’t play very well, but I think we came together and we got the ‘W,’ which is important regardless of how good the game is, you need to get the win. We have a big weekend coming up with wins that we need; we need the wins, and I think we’re going to come together. There’s a belief there, and I think once everybody has that mentality of just pure belief, we can go a lot further than people think we can.”