With two seconds left in the game, defender Reese Wheeler struck a left-footed rocket to the top left-center of the net, forcing Louisville goalie Erynn Floyd to stand by and watch her send the Cobb Stadium crowd into a frenzy as the Hurricanes (3-4-3, 2-1-0) beat Louisville (2-5-4, 1-1-1) 1-0 at the last minute Sunday afternoon.
Wheeler, the redshirt freshman and Florida native, scored her first career goal, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Hurricanes. The game was stuck in a stalemate for 89+ minutes before Wheeler broke through.
Miami was pressured throughout most of the match, with Louisville on the attack nearly every possession. The Cardinals shot the ball 13 times and had six shots on target. The Hurricanes had only five shots the entire game.
Despite the constant Louisville attack, the ‘Canes defense stayed poised and defended well under pressure. Graduate student goalie Melissa Dagenais is doing her best of a brick wall, tallying six saves and a clean sheet against the relentless Cardinal offense.
Louisville’s closest chance to get on the board was in the 60th minute, where, after making the save, Dagenais lost possession of the ball in the middle of the open box. Louisville forward Mackenzie Geigle jumped on the chance and put it into the back of the net. Fortunately for Miami, the officials blew the play dead and called for a foul on the Cardinals, claiming contact with the goalie.
With the ball in Miami’s territory for much of the game, the Hurricanes had to capitalize on their few opportunities to get on the offense. Still, with only a few minutes left, things looked like the game would end in a scoreless draw.
Then, with 22 seconds left, the home side was awarded a throw-in on the other side of the pitch. Junior defender Adriana Serna found senior forward Katerina Molina, who took the ball to the edge of the end line before hitting an open Resse Wheeler. Wheeler saw her opportunity and didn’t miss the chance to make the most of it, hitting the back of the net and claiming victory over Louisville with the final whistle seconds away.
The ‘Canes continue their ACC play on Friday, September 29, against Florida State in Tallahassee at 7:00.