The Miami Hurricanes soccer team lost to rival and defending National Champion Florida State on Saturday, 1-0.
Cobb Stadium was packed to the brim in one of the most highly anticipated games of the season. The Seminoles handed the Hurricanes their fourth straight conference loss, moving Miami to an overall record of 3-5-3 on the season.
The first half was a gritty, defensive battle between the rivals. Both goalies are considered two of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and they each held their own. Each team’s defense did a spectacular job of controlling the pace and not letting either team get anything going offensively.
After a very encouraging defensive effort in the first half for the underdog Hurricanes, the second half started in favor of the Seminoles. In the 47th minute, a penalty kick was awarded to Florida State senior midfielder Heather Payne and she was able to take advantage of this opportunity. Payne buried a goal in the bottom right corner of the net to put the Seminoles up one.
Panye’s goal gave the Seminoles a lead they would hold onto for the rest of the game.
The rest of the second half was all about Florida State playing it safe, trying to hold onto their lead. It did an excellent job of keeping the ball outside of the Hurricanes’ possession, which led to Miami not being able to generate any offense.
Florida State continues to thrive this year. Led by new head coach Brian Pensky, the unbeaten Seminoles have started hot and now have a record of 8-0-2 as they look to repeat as champions.
After having an encouraging start to the season, Miami has found itself in a rut after losing five straight games.
“Obviously we are not happy with the outcome tonight, but I thought we defended well and created several good chances,” Miami head coach Sarah Barnes said.
Defenders including Halle Salas and Emma Tucker deserve a lot of credit as they did a very nice job of keeping the ball outside of the possession of Florida State’s best playmakers.
Miami’s offense continued its struggles against the Seminoles. Saturday’s match marks the fifth game this season that the Hurricanes have failed to score. They were only able to get three shots against Florida State.
Although Miami took its fifth loss of the season, it competed and battled with the top team in the ACC.
“I thought the performance was pretty good. Obviously we are not happy with the outcome… [This game] is going to let us move in the direction we want to go in for the rest of the season,” Barnes said.
Goalkeeper Melissa Dadgenais has continued to be a bright spot for the team. On the other end of the ball, the offense has been abysmal, and this unit will be looking to improve as the season progresses.
Miami’s next test will be against Virginia Tech at Cobb Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.