In their final home game of the 2017 season, the Miami Hurricanes dropped a tightly contested match 2-1 to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Oct. 22 at Cobb Stadium.
“I think we came out and played well,” Miami coach Mary-Frances Monroe said. “If we gave a little bit more, I’m sure we could’ve won this game. I think we had more dangerous shots on goal, but Notre Dame is a fantastic team, and we have to put the ball in the back of the net to win these games.”
The Fighting Irish came out of the gates in rhythm and scored on the first shot of the contest.
In the sixth minute, Notre Dame defender Monica Flores played a ball into the box that midfielder Sandra Yu headed toward the goal. Forward Natalie Jacobs put on the finishing touches and knocked it in for the early advantage.
The Fighting Irish then scored again in the 41st minute when forward Meghan Doyle fired a rocket from long range that clanged off the far post and bounced in to give the team a 2-0 lead.
Miami (5-10-0, 1-8-0 ACC) responded quickly. In the 43rd minute, junior midfielder Jamie Brunworth played a corner kick that curled past Notre Dame (9-5-3, 5-3-1 ACC) goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas to find the far corner for a goal to cut the deficit in half.
“We’ve been practicing corners a lot lately,” Brunworth said. “I’ve been trying to hit Maisie [Baker] and Lexi [Castellano] – our strong headers, and I think the wind kind of helped it go in the upper-90.”
The Hurricanes found their best chance at equalizing in the 71st minute when sophomore midfielder Kristina Fisher broke away from the Irish defense, but Nicholas turned away Fisher’s attempt on a leaping kick-save inside the box.
Notre Dame piled up six opportunities to score early in the second half, but Miami redshirt junior goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce kept the Hurricanes within one.
UM was able to put pressure on Notre Dame in the closing 15 minutes, but none of the Canes’ efforts found the back of the net.
“I think in the first half, we came out a little shocked against them,” Brunworth said. “As the game went on, I think we got a lot more confident defending them. Near the end of the second half, we had a lot more opportunities.”
It was Senior Day for the team, and seniors Danielle Savage, Ronnie Johnson, Grace Rapp and Charlsey Zyne were honored before the match for their commitment to the program. Zyne earned her first start as a Cane in her final game at home.
“They put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the program and into helping our program move toward where we want it to be,” Monroe said of the seniors. “I think, as our future grows, it’s just going to get better and better.”
“There is no bigger honor than wearing the U on your shirt,” Rapp said. “Playing with these seniors all four years has been great. I have the best teammates behind me.”
The Hurricanes wrap up their 2017 campaign against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.