Women’s soccer drops first game of the season in inaugural meeting with Georgia Southern

Senior midfielder Julia Edwards jumps in attemp to head the ball against Georgia Southern on Cobb Stadium on Aug. 27. Photo credit: Reese Putnam

Miami women’s soccer dropped its first game of the season on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 loss to Georgia Southern at Cobb Stadium.

The Hurricanes (1-1-2) had not faced a Sun Belt team since 2008 and, in their 26-year existence, had never played the Eagles. Georgia Southern entered the game fresh off a 4-1 victory against North Florida and one year removed from its first regular season conference championship in program history.

In the teams’ inaugural meeting, Georgia Southern (3-1) struck first when forward Simone Timm forced a turnover and beat Miami goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais in the fourth minute.

The Eagles led 1-0 at the break after Miami midfielder Julia Edwards and defender Emma Tucker had chances to level the score.

Georgia Southern doubled its lead in the second half thanks to another turnover that kickstarted an Eagles’ counterattack. Timm was again involved, firing a cross into the box that eventually fell to midfielder Smith Cathey after a deflection. Cathey gathered the ball and drilled it into the top right corner.

The Hurricanes responded in the 71st minute with forward Katerina Molina’s first goal of the season. Midfielder Lauren Meeks provided the assist, and Molina headed it home.

After mustering only two shots in the first half, Miami outshot the Eagles 5-3 following halftime. The Hurricanes also had four corners in the second half and a free kick in the game’s last 45 seconds, but Georgia Southern held on for the victory.

Both teams had seven shots, but Miami had two more on goal.

With the loss, Miami’s three-game unbeaten streak to start the season ended. The Hurricanes opened the year with a 3-0 win over Stetson on the road, followed by two draws at home against Florida Atlantic and Florida, respectively, before Sunday’s matchup.

Miami kept 74 percent of its roster from last season, including seven starters, and gained eight freshmen. But the results haven’t been the same as last year when the Hurricanes remained unbeaten after five games. That included signature victories against Alabama and Oklahoma State.

Miami has a chance to rebound on Thursday at 8 p.m. against Alabama in the first three road matches. The Hurricanes beat the Crimson Tide 1-0 last year in Coral Gables with a goal from forward Megan Morgan.