Women’s soccer lost in heartbreaking fashion to the University of Miami Hurricanes on Oct. 2 thanks to a buzzer-beater goal by defender Jackie Koerwitz. The goal was a devastating blow in what was a tight, defensive battle where the Eagles often looked on the brink of scoring.
As the clock ticked down the final six seconds, the Hurricanes found an unmarked player on the left side of the 18-yard box. Koerwitz turned and rifled a shot into the top right corner, as the final three seconds ticked off the clock. The play started in the Hurricanes defensive end, where a yellow card on Eagles captain Jenna Bike allowed the Hurricanes to mount a final counter-attack.
The Hurricanes seemed to strike in the first half too, with defender Selena Fortich heading home a perfectly placed ball from just outside the 6-yard box in the 18th minute. The set-piece goal was ruled off-side before the ball even touched the ground, reversing the goal and keeping the score nil-nil.
The Eagles had plenty of chances throughout the game, dominating with 21 shots to the Hurricanes 10. Miami put more on net, with six, while only eight of the Eagles' shots were on goal.
Bike generated the first chance of the game in the 5th minute, charging into space on the left side of the pitch and crossing a low ball into the box. The goalie missed the ball, allowing it to pop out to Laura Gouvin, who managed to get a shot deflected for an Eagles corner.
Throughout the first half, nothing was connecting for either team, despite patient buildup from the Eagles and quick transition play from the Hurricanes. Crisp passes helped the Eagles to sustain pressure, but within the 18-yard box, the pressure disintegrated.
The Eagles had a good chance in the 25th minute, off an Éabha O’Mahony throw-in. Sam Agresti received the throw on the inline, passed the ball back to Mahony, who then launched a long cross to Linda Boama, left unmarked in space. Unfortunately, Boama’s low shot was an easy save for Hurricanes Keeper Melissa Dagenais.
In the second half, the Eagles tried different tactics, preferring to launch balls over the top of the Hurricanes defense and send runners after it. The Hurricanes began to maintain more possession, springing quick counter-attacks from their own end in an effort to catch the Eagles defense disorganized.
Five minutes into the second, Sam Smith streaked down the left side of the field and fired a cross into the box, forcing keeper Dagenais to come off her line. The ball popped loose, but despite the scramble, no Eagle could get a foot on the ball and the chance fizzled out as a foul was called on Boama.
Chaos in the box ensued again in the 88th minute. Michela Agresti lofted a ball over the Hurricanes' defense, connecting with Bike, who fired a shot that keeper Dagenais was forced to save. The ball popped out of her gloves, prompting a scramble as Boama crashed the box, keeping the ball away from both the Hurricanes keeper and two defenders who were attempting to clear the ball. Bike collected the ball, but blasted her shot off a diving Miami defender, effectively clearing the ball and giving the Hurricanes a chance to reset.
Despite the heartbreaking ending, the Eagles proved to be a dangerous team, with five different players registering shots in what was a solid collective effort to break through Miami’s defense. With plenty of time between games, the team should be able to polish up their finishing and find their way back onto the scoreboard and the win column.
The Eagles (6-5-1) have a chance to regroup at home against Virginia on Thursday night at 7 p.m. Women’s soccer is still looking for its first ACC win of the season.