After a 45-minute delay, the Miami Hurricanes (2-0-2) and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls (3-1-1) came out anxious to play at Cobb Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Two impressive goals and a game-clinching save by goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais led to the Canes securing the win 2-1 and remaining undefeated.
In the match’s opening minutes, neither squad could take control of the game, with momentum swaying back and forth between the two teams.
After a foul by Oklahoma State’s Ally Jackson, Miami freshman forward Emma Pidding dribbled the ball down the left side of the field and crossed it into the six-yard box, which led to a beautiful assist and a goal from just a few yards out by sophomore forward/midfielder Mikayla Tupper to go up 1-0 in the 25th minute.
“I’ve been working really hard, and the team’s been pushing me,” Tupper said to Miami Athletics. “Honestly, without the team, I wouldn’t have been there and wouldn’t have been on the field at that moment. It was a pretty amazing feeling to be able to do all that work and get a result out of it.”
The Cowgirls’ pressure on offense and defense ramped up after the goal by Miami, but the Hurricanes’ defense would not let up, with multiple clearances out of the 18-yard box in consecutive possessions.
As the first half was coming to a close, Miami secured its fourth corner kick of the half. The ball ricocheted to sophomore midfielder Lauren Meeks, who put a fantastic goal into the top left of the net and beyond the reach of the Cowgirls’ goalkeeper. This goal gave the ‘Canes a very comfortable 2-0 lead going into the second half.
“It was a corner and the next thing I knew the ball was right at my feet,” Meeks said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it.’ I knew I had to execute in that moment.”
To open the second half, the Cowgirls came out and took complete control of the match. In the 59th minute, Oklahoma State’s Mollie Breiner scored a goal off of a corner kick by junior Shyann McClary, which cut the deficit to just one.
Being able to maintain control throughout the majority of the second half, Oklahoma State forward/midfielder Gracie Bindbeutel had a breakaway that led to a shot aimed to the bottom left of the net, which was saved by Dagenais. This save wound up being the game-clinching save as it was Oklahoma State’s last shot on goal.
Though Miami only had 7 total shots compared to Oklahoma State’s 10, they were able to take advantage of the opportunities that they were given by scoring on both of their shots on goal.
Throughout the match, senior goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais and the entire Miami defense played exceptionally, holding the Cowgirls to five shots on goal and saving four of them.
The Hurricanes look to remain undefeated as they travel to Tampa, Florida, on Thursday, Sept. 8, to take on the South Florida Bulls at 6 p.m.