Miami had been shut out in four of its past five games, but on Sunday the Canes flipped the script in a big way.
The Hurricanes blanked No. 3 Notre Dame 2-0 at Cobb Stadium for the season’s biggest win.
“We’ve been lucky to have all week to prepare for this game, and I honestly give the girls a ton of credit because we’ve been talking about the small details all season, and they really listened to the small details we talked about,” Miami coach Mary-Frances Monroe said. “I’m so proud of them. We came in with a game plan, and when we perform it, you obviously see we find success.”
Ashley Flinn tallied both of the Canes’ goals in the win, extending her team lead.
The junior forward opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when she ran down a ball from the Miami back end, split through two Fighting Irish players and sent a bullet into the left upper 90.
“The long ball came in, and then I cut it back and it was just me and the goalie, and sometimes that’s the most dangerous situation you can have because you get too complacent,” Flinn said. “But I had a nice finish and then we were up 1–0, just trying to hold it.”
Flinn iced the game in the 84th minute, scoring on a beautiful strike from near the top of the box. Senior defender Tara Schwitter was credited with the assist.
Miami finally started clicking after its recent offensive slump.
“We applied a little bit more pressure, and we were able to pick off some good passes,” Monroe said. “And we wanted to attack, we didn’t want to be defensive-minded.”
The Hurricanes still showed up defensively, though, as the back line was superb, and junior goalkeeper Emily Lillard made six saves. It was Miami’s first shutout since the season opener.
For Miami (7-4, 2-4 ACC), the game was its third straight against a top-five opponent and its fifth against a top-12 team in the last six contests. This is the second consecutive year that the Canes have defeated a team in the top five, as they knocked off No. 1 Florida State last season.
Notre Dame (9-2-1, 5-1-1 ACC) snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak.
Monroe said Sunday’s quality win will provide momentum going forward.
“I think the confidence is skyrocketed for each and every one of them, and … everybody is just pumped and psyched to go into our next game,” she said.
That matchup will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cobb Stadium against another ACC newcomer, Pittsburgh.