Miami soccer holds on with draw against Alabama

Junior defender Adrianna Serna steals the ball back from the Georgia Southern players at Cobb Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 27. Photo credit: Reese Putnam

In one of the toughest environments in all of college soccer, Miami was able to stay strong defensively and deliver a 0-0 tie against No. 5 Alabama.

The Hurricanes (1-1-3) had their hands full going into Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide (4-0-1). The Tide entered Friday’s game on a 22-game home winning streak, scoring 60 goals in that span.

“It’s the highest quality that we’ve shown this season,” Miami head coach Sarah Barnes said. “I was really impressed with the organization and preparedness. As the game went on, we got stronger at securing possession and advancing into their half. We saw some good pictures of what we’re capable of against a very good team. I’m really proud of our team.”

Melissa Dagenais continues to prove she is the backbone of the Hurricanes. The graduate student delivered a stellar performance, saving a season-high seven shots on goal. Dagenais moved into seventh all-time in Hurricanes saves.

“It was a gritty, gritty game,” Dagenais said. “It’s a confidence booster. It shows what we’re capable of. For us, it’s a game to remember and set as a standard moving forward.”

Junior Adriana Serna has earned her minutes this year and made the play of the night. In the 66th minute, Dagenais dove out and made a stop, but a rebound shot attempt was saved by a last-second right-leg extension from Serna to save the game for Miami.

Defender Emma Tucker had her hands full all night with the task of guarding 2022 SEC Freshman of the Year Gianna Paul. Paul’s quickness was challenging to keep up with, but Tucker kept her ground and stopped the Tide’s offensive opportunities.

Miami will head to Mississippi State for its next matchup. The Bulldogs and Hurricanes are set to kick off on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the MSU Soccer Field.