Miami Falls to Top-Ranked Portland in Nike Invitational Final
Sept. 13, 2009
CORAL GABLES – The University of Miami women’s soccer team (4-3-0) battled the No. 1 ranked Portland Pilots (7-0-0) for 90 minutes but fell 2-0 in the final of the Portland Nike Invitational, Sunday night at Merlo Field.
After a 1-0 win over the 22nd-ranked Washington Huskies in the opening day of the Portland Nike Invitational on Friday night, the Hurricanes came into their match seeking a second straight victory over a ranked opponent. However, Portland scored the would-be game-winner in only the 11th minute.
The Pilot’s Michelle Enyeart took Sophie Schmidt pass and scored from 10 yards out. Enyeart recorded a hat trick in Portland’s opening-round win over Illinois. For her efforts over the weekend, she was named the invitational’s offensive MVP.
Even after giving up the early goal, the Hurricanes refused to give in and came close to leveling the score with opportunities of their own.
“I felt we stuck to our game plan and we created chances,” said head coach Tricia Taliaferro. “Unfortunately we came up short, but overall I thought that we improved as a team.”
Brittney Macdonald was named the defensive MVP and continues to be one of the nation’s top defenders, neutralizing the opponent’s top scorer on a nightly basis.
“Mac is certainly one of the best defenders we have had here at Miami,” added Taliaferro. “Unfortunately, they can only pick only one defender for the MVP, because I thought Vikki (Alonzo) was on the same level.”
Alonzo stopped 12 shots on the night, the second most of her career. The Carrollton, Texas native recorded her 13th shutout of her career on Friday night, one shy of tying the school record.
“It was a great honor to play Portland, because they were a great team,” said Alonzo. “I love playing against teams like that and we seem to play very well against the top teams.”
In all, Portland had a total of 25 shots in the contest and in the 86th minute the home team scored its second goal on one of them. Danielle Foxhoven was the beneficiary of a free kick from 26 yards out, her shot deflected of the top of Miami’s wall and went into the right side of the goal.
One of Miami’s captains, senior Beverly Goebel said, “After this weekend, we found out that we are able to hang and compete with the top teams in the nation.”
“I feel like we actually gained some confidence and experience, it was definitely worth it to come all the across the country to face two top-quality teams. We feel very confident and are going to practice a few things and hit stride and focus in on Ole Miss,” said Taliaferro.
The Hurricanes return to Cobb Stadium this Friday, Sept. 18 to face the Southeastern Conference’s Ole Miss Rebels at 7:30 p.m., before traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich. to square off against Michigan only two days later.