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Soccer Captures 1-0 Victory Over Pitt

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The University of Miami women’s soccer team continued its ascent towards the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference table Thursday night, capturing its matchup with visiting Pitt 1-0 at Cobb Stadium.

Reigning ACC Player of the Week Ashley Flinn came up clutch for the Hurricanes (8-4-0, 3-4-0 ACC) once again, scoring what proved to be the game-winner in the 67th minute. The goal was the ninth of the season for Flinn and her fifth game-deciding tally of the year.

Junior goalkeeper Emily Lillard made four saves in her second straight clean sheet.

“We just came off a great win over Notre Dame, and it was important for us to stay focused,” head coach Mary-Frances Monroe said. “I’m excited about the win today. We didn’t perform very well, but we got the three points at home.”

Senior Tara Schwitter, who helped pace the Hurricanes offense throughout the match, delivered service on a set piece from 40 yards out on the decisive play. After a scramble in the box, senior Blake Stockton tapped the ball towards Flinn, who finished with her right foot into a vacant corner of the net.

“Ashley has been a real key player for us, especially these last two games,” Lillard said. “She’s stepping up and seeing she can be one of the top leading scorers in the ACC. She knows what she’s capable of, and she’s really starting to show it.”

Monroe said Flinn is one of many offensive players who have worked in individual sessions to help improve positioning and overall play.

“All of our attacking players have bought in and are grinding every day in training, trying to take it to the game,” Monroe said. “I really think Ashley wants it. The more touches and more times she gets the ball, she’ll find more success.”

Miami’s defense has not allowed a goal in two straight matches, and Lillard made sure to credit her defensive backline in helping her attain a second straight shutout.

“Gracie [Lachowecki] and Gianna [Dal Pozzo] are stepping up, learning how to fit in. We need as much defense as we can get, and we need people to step up – they have been two that have,” she said.

Despite a flurry of chances for the Panthers in the final minutes , Lillard helped preserve the victory with some big late saves.

“We’re coming out knowing we can play in this league,” the junior goalkeeper said. “We can be anything we want to be if we’re on top of our game.”

The Hurricane next travel to Syracuse for a matchup with the Orange (5-9-1, 1-7-1 ACC). Kickoff is set for Sunday at noon.