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Soccer Looks to Extend Winning Streak Sunday

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The University of Miami women’s soccer team will look to extend its winning streak to three straight matches Sunday in a conference matchup with new ACC member Syracuse. Kickoff for the match, slated to be broadcast live on ESPN3, is set for noon.

With a win, the Hurricanes (7-4-0, 3-4-0 ACC) would match their conference win total from 2012 with five additional matches remaining in the season. Miami, looking to qualify for the NCAA postseason for the third consecutive year, registered a 9-7-4 overall mark in 2012 and 4-4-2 record in conference play.

If the Hurricanes emerge victorious against Syracuse (5-8-1, 1-6-1 ACC), there’s a good chance junior striker Ashley Flinn will have played a role. The Romeo, Mich., native has scored in five of Miami’s seven victories, and leads the team in goals (nine) and game-winning strikes (five). Entering the weekend, Flinn ranked fourth among all conference scorers in goals and tied for eighth in points (18).

Just as important as Flinn’s play in opposing territory has been a stout Miami defense in front of junior goalie Emily Lillard. The Hurricanes have not allowed a goal in 187 minutes – a stretch that dates back to a Sept. 26 loss against then-No. 3 Florida State and includes a 2-0 shutout of then-No. 4 Notre Dame at Cobb Stadium.

Clean sheets have occurred with regularity for Lillard since arriving in Miami from Arkansas in 2012. The Hurricanes battled their way to a 482-minute scoreless streak towards the end of last season, a stretch that saw Miami earn points in its final four matches and helped propel the team to its first ACC Championship berth since 2008.

90-minute performances from its backline, which includes a veteran duo (Maddie Simms and Blake Stockton) and a pair of freshmen (Gianna Dal Pozzo and Gracie Lachowecki), have been pivotal to the team’s recent defensive success. Other freshmen, including midfielder Betsy Middleton, have also seen an increase in minutes of late thanks to solid contributions.

The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 2-2-1.