Coming off an upset win last Thursday against #15 Clemson, the Canes were hoping to keep the strong momentum Oct. 27 in their match against Louisville.
Miami opened the home game with two promising advances forward. In the 3rd minute, Bayleigh Chaviers smoothly turned and played Kristina Fisher into space. Fisher would go on to force a save by the Louisville keeper. Minutes later Chaviers forced a fantastic foot save after she found herself in a one-on-one after a Kristina Fisher through ball. Yet the momentum from both chances were rendered null by the lone goal in the 6th minute from Louisville. Multiple step overs and a blast into the back of the net gave Emina Ekic her 8th goal of the season.
Miami opened with more opportunities yet found themselves down, something Coach Sarah Barnes marked as a lack of composure.
“I thought we just weren’t clinical enough in the attacking half, especially in the second half,” Barnes explained. “We had the ball a lot, I just thought our composure, our decision making was a little but off in terms of attacking the spaces that they were giving us.”
In the 13th minute, Tyler Speaks made an incredible save on a free kick, somehow tracking the shot through a clutter of people and punching the ball away.
Chaviers would again find herself in a golden opportunity as she sprinted towards the 18-yard box, a step ahead of Niamh Nelson, the last Louisville defender. Moments before reaching the box, Nelson tackled Chaviers from behind. Nelson was given a red card for the incident, setting up a Miami free kick that was denied by the Louisville wall.
In the second half, Louisville dropped back deep into their defensive third and focused on preventing shots, a tactical change that resulted in a total of zero shots from either team in the second half.
Despite the frustrating result, Miami kept a high energy and determination throughout much of the match. The energy has been a defining part of this Miami women’s soccer team and has made Coach Barnes proud.
“They’ve fought and stayed in it and competed. I think there have been a number of games this season where I felt like we deserved a better result than what we got,” Barnes said. “I give them credit, I think that’s really hard to do. I think a lot of people would kind of get down and give up, and they have not done that. So, I think they’ve improved a lot over the course of the season as a team and I think we’ve fought hard.”
With one more game left in the season, now is the time to reflect and praise those that have dedicated years of their lives representing our beloved university.
“They’ve been great. They come out every day and compete and they care. They want to be successful. They are probably some of our hardest working players on the team,” Barnes said, reflecting on the seniors of the team. “They’re just good human beings. We’re certainly going to miss them for next year.”