Hurricanes Square Off with Top-Ranked North Carolina Sunday
Sept. 23, 2005
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s soccer team will play host to top-ranked ACC rival North Carolina Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Cobb Stadium.
Sunday’s game against perennial powerhouse UNC, who has claimed 17 of the total 23 NCAA National Women’s Soccer Championships, will mark UM’s first-ever meeting against the nation’s top-ranked team in the Hurricanes soccer program’s eight-year history.
After opening the season winning four of their first five games, fourth-year head coach Tricia Taliaferro and Hurricanes head into Sunday’s game with an overall record of 5-4-1 looking to snap a two-game skid following a 1-0 double overtime loss to NC State Thursday night in their ACC opener.
Led by junior defender Kristen Chapman and sophomore keeper Lauren McAdam, whose 6.57 saves per game leads the ACC, the Hurricanes have held opponents to a total of nine goals this season. McAdam and the Hurricanes have posted three shutouts on the year and only twice has an opponent scored more than one goal.
Adding Thursday’s loss to the Wolfpack, all four of Miami’s losses this season have been decided by just one goal, two of which have ended in overtime.
Miami’s offensive attack is headed by an impressive crop of newcomers that include freshman midfielder Bryn Heinicke, freshman forward Paulelett Ricks-Chambers, redshirt sophomore Rebecca Tweneboah, freshman forward Tessa Lennala and freshman midfielder Rachael Rigamat.
Heinicke leads UM in nearly every category including points (9), shots (27), shots on goal (12), assists (3). Heinicke and Ricks-Chambers, who has scored in two of the last three games, are tied for the Hurricane lead in goals with three apiece.
Rigamat follows Heinicke in total shots (27) followed by junior defender Kelly Pflugner (14) and Tweneboah – a transfer from Notre Dame – and freshman midfielder Val Blanco, who have each posted 13 on the year.
The Tar Heels come to Cobb Stadium with an unbeaten 9-0-0 record as the nation’s top-ranked team in all three major national polls (NSCAA, Soccer America and Soccer Buzz). North Carolina has dominated opponents this season, scoring an average of 4.22 goals per game which ranks third nationally.
UNC cruised past seventh-ranked Florida State, 4-1, Thursday night in front of a FSU-record 1,912 fans in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles lone goal of the game came in the 76th minute and marked just the third goal scored against the Tar Heels this season.
North Carolina is led by a trio of MAC Hermann Trophy National Player of the Year candidates in senior midfielder Lori Chalupny, junior forward Heather O’Reilly and senior midfielder Lindsay Tarpley.
O’Reily ranks in top 10 nationally and the top three in the goals, assists and points per game and has twice been named the ACC Player of the Week.
Sunday’s game will mark just the second meeting between Miami and North Carolina, who won the only previous meeting – a 5-1 decision last season in Chapel Hill.
The game will be broadcast live on WVUM 90.5 FM and can also be found on the web at www.wvum.org. Fans can also log on for live scoring at www.hurricanesports.com.
The first 50 fans in attendance Sunday will receive a free USoccer megaphone and selected fans in attendance will receive free Hurricane rally towels. Admission to Sunday’s game is just $5 dollars for adults and $3 dollars for children and senior citizens. For additional ticket information, please contact the Hurricane Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-CANES.