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Soccer Unable to Find Late Equalizer in Loss

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The University of Miami women’s soccer team fought valiantly in the second half but was unable to find a late equalizer, falling to No. 4 Virginia Tech 1-0 at Thompson Field.

The Hurricanes (8-8-1, 3-8-1 ACC) registered 12 shots in the contest, outshooting the hosts in the second half, but could not overcome Murielle Tiernan’s 14th-minute goal. Junior goalkeeper Emily Lillard, who impressed in Miami’s defeat to No. 1 Virginia Thursday, made three saves in the loss to the fourth-ranked Hokies (14-2-2, 9-2-1 ACC).

“We didn’t come out and perform in the first half,” head coach Mary-Frances Monroe said. “We changed some things at halftime and told our team we needed to compete.”

Miami heeded the advice of its first-year head coach, dominating the run of play for the majority of the final 45 minutes. Despite dangerous opportunities from its attacking players, the Hurricanes came up empty.

Tara Schwitter (four shots), Ava Ambrose (one), Ashley Flinn (one) and Jasmine Paterson (one) paced Miami’s offense in opposing territory.

“You can see a world of difference in our play when we want to put in the effort and want to play for each other,” Monroe said. “It’s unfortunate for us that we decided to do that too late.”

Monroe anticipates Miami carrying momentum from Sunday’s second half into Thursday’s regular season finale against Clemson (7-6-4, 4-5-2 ACC) at Cobb Stadium. The Hurricanes will be recognizing two seniors – Schwitter and defender Blake Stockton – on Senior Day.

“We have to run on that energy going into our game against Clemson,” she said. “We will be celebrating two fantastic seniors in Tara and Blake, and I’m excited about it.”

Both players have been crucial in Monroe’s transition in her first year as head coach. Stockton has anchored Miami’s backline for the second straight season, while Schwitter has been a sparkplug on both ends of the field.

“It hasn’t been an easy road for them, and I only want the best for both,” she said. “If we show up, we know how dangerous we can be. I wish I had both of them for a few more years.”

Kickoff for Thursday’s match is set for 7 p.m.