Simply put, the Virginia Cavaliers were just too much for Miami to handle on the pitch this past Thursday.
The No. 9 ranked team in America came into Cobb Stadium and outplayed the Hurricanes for most of the 90 minutes. Caroline Miller scored two goals for UVA in a 3-0 victory, moving the Cavs to 11-3-1 (4-2-1 ACC) on the season.
Miami (7-6-1, 2-4 ACC) head coach Tom Anagnost was not pleased with his team’s effort in the match, but was also quite complimentary of the opposition.
“We’re disappointed because there were certain—we didn’t try hard enough, literally,” Anagnost said. “We just didn’t try hard enough. As a coach it’s extraordinarily disappointing. The second thing is, we tune out in crucial parts of the game and the best teams don’t. Those are the two things.
“I told the group, if you looked at the game, this team just completely pinned us in last year, they completely overwhelmed us, [outshooting Miami 19-2], and this game was far, far more even, even though the score was worse. But I got to give a lot of credit to Virginia because they were very, very crisp and efficient in front of the goal. I don’t know how much of their shots actually went on target, but they scored good goals.”
Miami’s offense has not been lethal this season, but the ‘Canes did seem to have picked things up a bit lately. In the first eight games, Miami was shut out four times and did not post any consecutive games with a tally. However, the team had scored in each of the five contests before facing UVA.
UM forced just three saves from Virginia’s Danielle DeLisle and looked to be closer to its early season form.
“It’s frustrating when you have—when you’re down a couple goals and you feel as you’re watching, that you’re part of the game, that it could have been a little different, but I got to give them a lot of credit,” Anagnost said. “They deserved the result and I’m never, ever going to say, ‘Wish I could’ve’ this or that. They deserved to win the game and I thought their kids tried harder, especially in the first half when it mattered and they did more in front of our goal, and that’s the game.”
One reason for Miami’s struggles against Virginia may well have been that Kate Howarth missed her second straight game with an injury. Tina Romagnuolo, another key cog of the UM offense, suffered a season-ending injury in mid-September.
As Anagnost explained, the injuries are piling up for the ‘Canes, but that cannot be a reason for defeat.
“We’ve got six kids out and they all play and five [of them are] starting players, but again, there’s no excuse,” Anagnost said. “We have to find a way, it’s not even a reason, the kids are here to play soccer, so they have to be ready to go and we have to a better job preparing them to do so.”
Anagnost did not have a diagnosis for Howarth’s injury, but said they “should find out something in the beginning of next week” about her return date.