CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami women's soccer team earned a hard-fought point in its match-up with No. 19 Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon, taking the Hokies to double overtime where the contest finished in a scoreless draw.
Despite outshooting the Hokies 14-7, including a 9-2 differential in the second half, Miami was unable to find the back of the net. A strong performance from junior midfielder Tara Scwhitter, who led the team with six shots, helped key an offensive attack that forced Tech goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts into seven saves on the day.
"I was very pleased with the effort and character displayed by our players today," head coach Tom Anagnost said. "We played hard against a very good team."
The Hurricanes backline, which received 110-minute performances from senior Ali Brennan, junior Blake Stockton and sophomore Maddie Sims, helped keep the talented Hokies' offense off the scoreboard. Sophomore Emily Lillard (5-6-2) made four saves over the course of the afternoon, while Miami (7-6-2, 2-4-1 ACC) peppered the opposition but were unable to convert.
"Clearly there are many areas technically and tactically where we can get better, but when we are fully commited to the cause, we are a tough team," Anagnost added.
The team got off to a quick start with a shot from freshman Ally Andreini that sailed high in the second minute. Two saves from Lillard in the early stages kept the Hokies at bay.
The contest was halted six minutes into the game, when Virginia Tech midfielder Jodie Zelenky suffered a neck injury in an unintentional collision. After a lengthy delay, play resumed as the Hurricanes and Hokies continued to trade early opportunities.
Despite 20 extra minutes, neither team was able to create much opportunity and earn a decision after two overtime periods. It was the second double-OT draw this season for the Hurricanes, who ended with the same result against West Virginia (Sept. 2).
"We created some great chances, and it is very unfortunate we didn't get the result," Anagnost said.
Sunday's game was memorable for both its competitive display on the pitch as well as a surprise ceremony honoring a former student-athlete at halftime.
Led by University President Donna E. Shalala and Interim Director of Athletics Blake James, the University of Miami faculty presented a degree to the mother and fiancé of beloved former soccer player Austen Everett, who passed away in August after a battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
"Austen was a tremendous representative of our program, and her legacy lives on through her foundation," James said after the game. "It was an honor to be able to be a part of today's ceremony."
The Hurricanes return to action Thursday, when they take on eight-ranked Maryland in College Park. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.