Miami and NC State Draw, 3-3
RALEIGH, N.C. — In its final road match of the regular season, the University of Miami soccer team earned a point, drawing with NC State, 3-3, Saturday evening at Dail Soccer Field/Track Complex.
“I thought the team battled from start to finish,” Miami head coach Sarah Barnes said. “We never quit competing on both sides of the ball. We got forward and created some of the better opportunities we’ve had all year. At the same time, we worked really hard to mitigate some of the danger against a team that is one of the more effective in transition in the ACC.”
The Hurricanes (4-6-3, 1-5-1 ACC) found the back of the net three times over the first 20 minutes, but the Wolfpack (7-5-4, 2-4-1 ACC) rallied for three goals of their own to force a tie.
Sophomore midfielder Lauren Meeks kickstarted the offensive barrage in the 12th minute.
Midfielder/forward María Jakobsdóttir ran down the right sideline and looped a ball towards the back post. The senior’s service ricocheted in front of the goal and Meeks knocked home her team-leading third tally of the fall.
“I was in the right spot at the right time,” Meeks said. “It was good to get the first one in our direction and spark our attack. It was super important for us to take the early momentum and run with it.”
Four minutes later, forward Chloe O’Neill doubled the Hurricanes’ advantage.
Senior defender Taylor Shell lofted a cross into the middle of the six-yard box in the direction of O’Neill. The graduate student battled for position and poked the ball through, putting Miami ahead, 2-0.
“I could tell from the beginning that we were coming out really strong going forward,” O’Neill said. “We were getting those crosses off and I knew I had to be in that spot. It was time for me to step up.”
In her 75th career match, O’Neill put her experience on full display.
Jakobsdóttir jolted free down the edge of the 18-yard box and set up a wide-open O’Neill for her second tally in less than four minutes.
O’Neill, who became the first Hurricane to register a brace since Gudrun Haralz on Oct. 4, 2018, helped the Hurricanes score a trio of tallies within an eight-minute span in ACC action for the first time in program history.
“She’s aggressive and tenacious,” Barnes said of O’Neill. “Anytime the ball gets put in the box and she’s within the vicinity, you feel like she has a chance to put it in. She did a great job of getting on the end of two crosses and digging out a couple of goals.”
Despite the Canes cashing in three times across the first 20 minutes, the Wolfpack rallied in Raleigh.
NC State defender Lulu Guttenberger responded with a pair of goals before the break to pull the Pack within one.
The Wolfpack leveled the contest in the 49th minute behind senior forward Jameese Joseph, who slipped past the Hurricanes’ backline and buried her seventh tally of the year.
In the thriller, Miami totaled a season-best eight shots on target on 10 attempts.
Next, the Hurricanes return to Cobb Stadium and open a three-match homestand, beginning with Boston College Thursday. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
To keep up with the University of Miami soccer team on social media, follow @CanesFutbol on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.