Mary-Frances Monroe picked up her first ACC victory as head coach of the Miami women’s soccer team on Thursday night.
The Hurricanes defeated North Carolina State, 2-1, at Cobb Stadium, extending their unbeaten run against the Wolfpack to seven years.
“It’s very exciting,” Monroe said of the breakthrough win. “It’s nice to get our first victory at home as well. So it’s nice be back in front of our fans, our family, our staff, and everyone who supports us.”
Miami (6-2, 1-2 ACC) was coming off a pair of big road losses in its first two ACC games, falling 3-0 to Duke and 4-0 to Wake Forest before returning home to play the Wolfpack.
Despite the rough defeats, Monroe did not have a negative outlook on those games when speaking to the team in the days prior to playing N.C. State (6-3, 1-2 ACC).
“Honestly, in both those games there were times of very good soccer and that’s what we have to make sure we highlight to them,” Monroe said. “That we’re going to make mistakes – every team makes mistakes – and it’s just what you do when you make those mistakes. So we just really enforced the positive things that they did well, but then … when we got back we solved some things that we needed to work on.”
Miami took the lead against N.C. State in the 19th minute on a beautiful strike from Erin McGovern in what was the first shot on goal of the game for either side.
The junior midfielder received a pass from Jasmine Paterson and drilled the ball into the corner of the net from outside the box.
“That was a great goal, in the right place, a great touch,” Monroe said. “She [McGovern] is someone who we rely on a lot.”
Paterson, a sophomore forward, added an unassisted goal in the 82nd minute, finding the net from about eight yards out after a deflected ball came her way.
The goal would soon prove to be crucial, as the Wolfpack scored just five minutes later when Florida native Jackie Stengel headed home a corner kick off the foot of Megan Proper.
N.C. State, which did not have a shot on goal until the final 15 minutes, pushed numbers forward in hopes of netting an equalizer, but Miami was able to hang on for the victory.
“We needed [this win] for our confidence,” Paterson said. “We needed to boost our confidence a lot since we lost so badly to Duke and Wake. I’m just excited for North Carolina, I think this will pump us up and make us believe that we actually can compete in the ACC.”
The Tar Heels will be coming to Cobb Stadium on Sunday for a 1 p.m. game. UNC, ranked No. 5 in the nation, is the defending national champion and beat the Hurricanes 6-1 last year in Chapel Hill, N.C.
However, according to ESPN.com’s Paul Carr, Carolina is coming off back-to-back regulation losses for the first time since 1982.