CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s soccer team will open its highly anticipated 2013 regular season campaign Friday with a home matchup against Cincinnati. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Cobb Stadium.
Having split a pair of friendly exhibitions in a preseason road swing to Ohio, the Hurricanes will take their home pitch for the first time under new head coach Mary-Frances Monroe.
After a summer spent transitioning into a new work space while acclimating to 25 new faces, to say Monroe and her club are excited would be an understatement.
“We’ve been preparing for this game for a while now,” Monroe said. “Instead of just evaluating, we’re coming in collectively with a real game plan. Even walking out to training earlier today, the passion, the energy, it’s all there. They’re ready, they’re excited, and they just can’t wait to get out on the field.”
The chance to open their season at home has added extra incentive to the match, expected to draw well with an influx of students arriving on campus.
“We get to really see their personalities now, playing in Miami, in front of our own home crowd and with students coming back to school,” she said. “I think it’s going to only increase their competitive mentality. I expect we’ll see a whole different level from them playing in front of their family and friends.”
Monroe and her staff are confident the team’s surplus of emotion won’t take away from Friday’s gameplan.
“We put a plan together, and it’s up to them to come out and play our game and not to play to someone else’s,” she said. “I’m high on that – on us coming out and doing what we do best, and getting the other team to mark us.”
Aided by a dominant 4-1 win over then-No. 21 Florida in their 2012 season opener, the Hurricanes managed to finish 5-2-1 in last season’s nonconference schedule. Earning a decision against the Bearcats, one of five consecutive nonconference opponents to open their campaign, is pivotal to beginning a similar trend.
“It’s not just scrimmages anymore, and I think they realize that,” Monroe said. “Everything counts, everything matters, and taking three points is crucial. We’re excited for tomorrow.”
Tickets to Friday’s game are $5 for adults, $3 for children and free for all students upon presentation of identification. Tickets may be purchased at the front entrance to Cobb Stadium.