Miami soccer ends homestand with 2-0 loss

Sophomore forward/midfielder Gabriela Rusek jumps for a header during the second half of Miami’s match versus Pittsburgh at Cobb Stadium on Sept. 26, 2021.
Sophomore forward/midfielder Gabriela Rusek jumps for a header during the second half of Miami’s match versus Pittsburgh at Cobb Stadium on Sept. 26, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The Miami Hurricanes ended their five-game homestand with a 2-0 defeat to the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Each team entered halftime without a goal scored, until a 51st minute goal broke the stalemate at Cobb Stadium. Pittsburgh (8-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) relied on seven shots on goal to sink Miami (3-6, 0-3 ACC) for a fourth straight loss on Sunday.

Jumping out with extended pressure, UM was determined to gain added scoring chances yet each of its six shots on goal were unsuccessful.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed in the result, but I thought the team competed hard,” Miami coach Sarah Barnes said. “I thought we created good chances. The difference was they finished their chances and we didn’t. We will continue to focus on execution.”

Junior midfielder/forward María Jakobsdóttir nearly scored her second goal of the season in the 36th minute, but misfired in the heart of the box.

A foul tacked on senior defender Selena Fortich five minutes after the halftime break offered the Panthers their fourth shot opportunity in the second half. Pittsburgh midfielder Ellie Coffield intercepted a clear attempt in the Hurricanes’ zone, and junior Amanda West remained onside to net the match’s first goal off the tip of goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais’ left hand.

West wasn’t the only goal-scoring force, however. After firing a shot toward the bottom center in the 74th minute, junior forward Leah Pais knocked in a deflected ball from the left of the penalty area for the afternoon’s final score.

Junior goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais stops the ball after a shot on goal during the second half of Miami’s match versus Pittsburgh at Cobb Stadium on Sept. 26, 2021.
Junior goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais stops the ball after a shot on goal during the second half of Miami’s match versus Pittsburgh at Cobb Stadium on Sept. 26, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Dagenais totaled five saves while UM failed to score on four corner opportunities in each half.

After concluding a home stretch with one win in five contests, Miami will begin a three-game road trip Saturday against Boston College. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“There were a lot of positive takeaways from what we’re creating,” Barnes said. “It’s now execution, execution, execution.”