Miami Drops ACC Opener to Louisville, 1-0

Miami Drops ACC Opener to Louisville, 1-0

by Josh White

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Miami Hurricanes soccer team came up short in its ACC opener, falling to the Louisville Cardinals, 1-0, Saturday evening at Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium.

“We fought hard and competed for 90 minutes,” Miami head coach Sarah Barnes said. “We have to better prepare them to better recognize what the defense is throwing at us, so we can be more dangerous in the attack, have the ball more and continue to improve on execution. We have some things we have to continue to work on to be where we want to be.”

Miami goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais dazzled in net, posting eight saves, but the Hurricanes (3-2-2, 0-1 ACC) couldn’t find an equalizer in the final 27 minutes.

After a scoreless first half, Louisville (4-1-2, 1-0 ACC) broke through in the 63rd minute. Following a Cardinals’ corner kick, midfielder/forward Maisie Whitsett controlled a loose ball and poked it into the bottom right corner.

With the Hurricanes searching for a tally, Dagenais kept the visitors in the match with highlight-reel worthy stops.

In the 77th minute, freshman midfielder Lizzie Sexton floated an attempt toward the frame, but Dagenais skied through the air, pushing the shot above the bar.

“Mel has been so consistent in goal and made a lot of great saves,” Barnes said. “It gives the team confidence to be able to go out and play and complete. When a mistake is made or there’s an error, Mel is there to have their backs. We can be in any game with Mel.”

The Hurricanes and Cardinals combined for 28 fouls, including three yellow cards in a physical affair.

Miami continues its four-match road swing as the Hurricanes travel to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers. Thursday’s tilt is set for 7 p.m. at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

“Sports require you to have an unwavering belief in your ability,” Barnes said. “It requires you to have relentless resilience to work towards accomplishing long-term goals you set for yourself. There’s work to do and we have a whole conference season ahead of us. At this stage, we’re looking at how to improve and be ready for the next challenge.”

To keep up with the University of Miami soccer team on social media, follow @CanesFutbol on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.