Canes soccer’s winless streak extends to eight

Make it eight.

On Sunday afternoon at Cobb Stadium, the women’s soccer team fell 2-0 to ninth-ranked Florida State.

Miami (7-6-2, 0-4-1) extended its winless streak to eight, dating back to Sept. 16.

“I think it was actually a better performance than I’ve seen in the past in terms of energy and confidence,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “It was good to get some playing time for Rigs [Rachael Rigamat] and Bevs [Beverly Goebel] to get back into our rhythm. I was disappointed with the mental lapses that created goals for them, but overall I thought we played better than we have in the last couple weeks.”

In the 11th minute, forward Tiffany McCarty scored her seventh goal of the season on a one-on-one after being set up by midfielder Casey Short.

The Seminoles (10-2-1, 4-1-0) controlled possession during the first half but were unable to produce more than the one goal. They were called eight times for offsides and freshman goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo saved six shots to keep the score close.

“It was something that we talked about, to stay compact as a team defensively,” Taliaferro said. “They were pretty predictable on their plays as far as what they were trying to do. We were able to communicate and hold the line.”

After the half, the Canes put pressure offensively and produced scoring chances.

Junior forward Paulelett Ricks-Chambers dribbled down to the end line and crossed to sophomore midfielder Lauren Singer who dropped the ball to Rigamat inside the box. The defender missed wide on Miami’s best opportunity.

“Our game plan was to get the ball, to knock it around, try to get our players close and get some numbers into the attack,” Taliaferro said. “I thought we created enough chances to be able to get a goal or two. I was very pleased with what we created on the attack.”

Sophomore Brittney Steinbruch failed to play for the fourth straight game and Rigamat, coming off a nagging leg injury, saw considerable time on the field.

“I’m just trying to go for as long as I can and when I can’t take anymore, I come off,” Rigamat said.

Florida State came back with a quick score in the 66th minute when defender Sarah Wagenfuhr kicked a long entry into the box and forward Sanna Talonen headed it into the net for a 2-0 lead.

“I told the team that I think we’re improving individually and as a group and our focus now is to go get our first [ACC] win,” Taliaferro said. “We want to build off this confidence.”

The Hurricanes return to action on Thursday night against Clemson (5-6-1, 1-3-1) in South Carolina with five games left before the ACC tournament.

“I just think we have nothing to lose,” Rigamat said. “We’ve been suffering from the beginning of [ACC competition] and our players are coming back so I think we’re going to finish strong.”