Canes soccer hits the road, doesn’t miss a step

In its first road trip of the season, the women’s soccer team continued where it left off at home, taking both road games in dominating fashion.

On Sunday afternoon, Miami (5-0-0) defeated Memphis (2-1-1), its toughest opponent thus far, 3-0 behind two goals from sophomore Lauren Singer and a team-leading sixth of the year from sophomore Brittney Steinbruch.  

“I was just at the right place at the right time,” said Singer, whose first goal gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at the half. “It was a great cross from Paulelett [Ricks-Chambers] and I hit it to the far corner.”

After halftime, Steinbruch, who has scored in each of the Canes’ five games this season, connected on career goal number 22, which put her ahead of Allison McWhinney for third all-time in the program’s history. 

“Brittney’s goal was a team effort,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “The ball was swatted and she was open.”

An insurance goal was added in the 80th minute by Singer on a cross from freshman Brittany Bucknor to close the scoring at 3-0.

Freshman goalie Vikki Alonzo saved six shots as she and the defense recorded their fourth shutout in five games and second of the trip.

“They had quality shots, quality opportunities,” Taliaferro said. “But they weren’t as difficult because of good defense and pressure, so that they weren’t clean shots on goal.”

Friday night, the Canes cruised 3-0 against Arkansas-Little Rock (1-4-0).

Juniors Jessica Wyble and Ricks-Chambers both notched unassisted goals, their first of the season, within four minutes of each other to lead the Hurricanes to a 2-0 lead at the half.

“Paulelett is a special player,” said Taliaferro about her midfielder’s recovery from a knee injury. “She’s better than she was before it and she feeds off energy and more game experience.”

Steinbruch also scored on a pass from junior Beverly Goebel.

The Hurricanes outshot the Trojans 25-1, a testament to the solid play of the Canes offense and defense.

“Defense usually doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, but it was the key to our success and determination,” Taliaferro said.

Through five matches, the Cane defense has allowed only 18 shots on goal.

“We came out ready and focused and even when they stepped up their play we came and matched it,” freshman defender Danielle Bidegain said.

Miami faces Purdue (3-1-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Cobb Stadium.

“We’re just going to keep going the way we are against Purdue and come out to meet their energy,” Singer said.

Last season, the Boilermakers were ranked eighth and held a 20-2-3 record before falling to Indiana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m very, very pleased,” Taliaferro said. “We hope to get recovered and enjoy the weekend and get back to Miami with a lot of confidence against good opponents. Memphis was a good measuring stick for us.”