Miami Comes up Short against No. 12 Louisville, 1-0
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – An early goal makes the difference Sunday afternoon at Cobb Stadium, as the University of Miami soccer team dropped a hard-fought match against No. 12 Louisville, 1-0.
“I thought we just weren’t clinical enough in the attacking half, especially in the second half,” Miami head coach Sarah Barnes said. “We had the ball a lot, but I just thought our composure and decision making was a little bit off in terms of attacking the space they were giving us.”
Looking to take a hold of the match three minutes in, senior forward/defender Bayleigh Chaviers sent a through ball into space towards Kristina Fisher, who was able to get a shot off. However, Louisville’s goalkeeper Gabrielle Kouzelos was able to make the save.
Then in the fifth minute, Fisher returned the favor with a through ball towards Chaviers who went one-on-one with the goalie. However, again, Kouzelos was able to make the stop.
Receiving a breakaway of their own, the Cardinals’ Emina Ekic was able to finesse the ball into the back of the net, as Louisville jumped ahead 1-0 at the 5:33 minute mark.
“I think at the end of the day we both had chances, but the difference is they finished theirs…” Barnes said. “But, at the end of the day, we had the opportunity to get pressure on the ball [on Louisville’s goal]. We dropped off and let them get behind us, and then it came down to a little bit of a foot race. So, I thought we handled that situation poorly and at the end of the day that changed the game.”
Off a free kick in the 13th minute, Ekic sent a shot towards the bottom right post, but Miami’s goalkeeper, Tyler Speaks, made an incredible diving save to keep it a 1-0 match.
Knocking on the doorstep once again, Chaviers sprinted past the Louisville defense and was moments away from reaching the 18-yard box before getting tackled from behind by Niamh Nelson.
Receiving a red card on the play, Nelson was ejected from the match and set up a free kick opportunity for freshman midfielder Ine Ostmo at the 17:26 mark.
Sending a blast on net, Ostmo’s shot was barely denied by the Cardinals’ wall, as Louisville maintained its 1-0 lead.
In the 30th minute, Miami received another goal-scoring opportunity when Maria Jakobsdottir found space behind the Cardinal’s back four, but again Kouzelos was up for the challenge.
At the half, both team’s registered a trio of shots on goal.
Out of the break, playing a player down, Louisville parked the bus, hoping to deny a UM comeback.
Looking to even the match, Miami was unable to connect on any of its several crosses, as neither team registered a second half shot on goal.
The Hurricanes will return to the pitch on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against third-ranked North Carolina. Prior to the match, a quintet of Miami seniors, Dejah Cason, Chaviers, Fisher, Lauren Markwith and Hannah Marwede will be honored for their commitment to The U over the past four seasons.
The match will be broadcast live on RSN.
To keep up with the University of Miami soccer team on social media, follow @CanesFutbol on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.