CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- After an impressive road trip that saw the team capture four of a possible six points against two ranked opponents, Miami will renew its in-state rivalry with Florida State Thursday in the regular season finale for both teams at Cobb Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
After upsetting No. 7 Maryland 1-0 in overtime to open its road trip, Miami (8-6-3, 3-4-2 ACC) took No. 24 Boston College to double overtime, where the game ended in a scoreless draw. The Hurricanes will need to continue their recent stretch of defensive dominance if they hope to leave their home pitch victorious against the first-ranked Seminoles (15-1-0, 8-1-0 ACC).
Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Lillard, named one of the NCAA's Top Performers and a CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performer of the Week, has helped key a defensive streak of 318 scoreless minutes spanning three shutouts of ranked opponents and two double-overtime draws.
Though he acknowledged Lillard's strong play in between the posts, head coach Tom Anagnost also recognized the importance of playing defense as a team.
"Emily has had a solid season for us, and has been very good as of late," Anagnost said. "Her success comes from not only her own excellent play, but from the 10 teammates in front of her."
Miami has a tough challenge ahead in Florida State, ranked No. 1 for much of the regular season. The Seminoles have been paced by redshirt senior Tiffany McCarty (seven goals, three assists), sophomore Kristin Grubka (five goals, two assists) and sophomore Dagny Brynjarsdottir (five goals, four assists).
The Hurricanes' offense will need to pressure junior goalkeeper Kelsey Wys (14-1-0 record), who has allowed only six goals all season and sports an impressive .885 save percentage.
Much of that pressure could come from senior forward Kate Howarth, who will be playing her last regular season game in Orange and Green. The Grand Blanc, Mich. native is one of five seniors being recognized on Senior Day. Joining her will be Ali Brennan (Columbia, Md.), Kim Hutchinson (Rockville Center, N.Y.), Jordan Roseboro (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Tina Romagnuolo (Stouffville, Ontario).
Live coverage on the ACC Digital Network is set for 7 p.m.