CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s soccer team used goals from junior Erin McGovern and sophomore Jasmine Paterson to secure a 2-1 victory over NC State Thursday night at Cobb Stadium.
“It’s very exciting,” head coach Mary-Frances Monroe said. “It’s also nice to get the victory at home. It’s nice to be back in front of our fans, our family, our staff and everyone who supports us.”
The Hurricanes, who earned their first conference victory of the season with the decision, extended an undefeated streak against the Wolfpack that dates back to the 2006 season. Miami also snapped a two-game skid with the win.
“We needed it for our confidence since we lost to Duke and Wake Forest this past weekend,” Paterson said. “I’m excited. I think this will pump us up for North Carolina and make us believe that we can really compete in the ACC.”
The hosts opened the match with some early pressure, as senior sparkplug Tara Schwitter’s shot sailed wide of NC State keeper Mackenzie Stelljer in just the fourth minute.
Miami (6-2-0, 1-2-0 ACC) would keep up the pace, however, and had a nice sequence in the 14th minute thwarted by a foul called on junior striker Ashley Flinn. A one-touch pass from Paterson made its way to McGovern, but a promising cross was nullified when Flinn was called for contact in the box.
The Hurricanes nearly opened the scoring two minutes later, but Schwitter’s free kick was headed away by the Wolfpack defense. But after developing rhythm in the offensive end, the Hurricanes were finally rewarded with McGovern’s second goal of the season in the 19th minute.
After receiving a pass from freshman midfielder Betsy Middleton, Paterson laid the ball off on a short touch to the junior midfielder. Standing just outside the 18-yard box, McGovern delivered a blast towards the left side of the net that made its way past Stelljer for the 1-0 lead.
“It was a great goal. She was in the right place off a nice touch,” Monroe said. “Erin is someone who we rely on a lot. She’s more of a playmaker, so it’s always nice when we can get our midfielders high to get into the attack. Once they do, they’re really dangerous.”
Miami threatened to double its advantage before halftime, but were unable to find the back of the net despite some dangerous chances. A solid cross from freshman Cortney O’Connell nearly found a charging Middleton in the 29th minute, but Stelljer was up to the task to force the shot over the bar. Four minutes later, a streaking Ashley Flinn also saw her shot denied by the Wolfpack keeper.
It didn’t take long for Miami to threaten in the second frame, as Flinn had another clear opportunity denied by Stelljer just over five minutes into the half.
Paterson made it 2-0 just nine minute shy of the final whistle. After a dangerous cross ricocheted off a Wolfpack defender, Paterson calmly one-timed the loose ball into the left corner from just over six yards out for her third goal of the season.
“I told myself I had to keep over the ball and make sure it stayed on the floor to go in,” she said.
NC State rallied late, as a goal from Jackie Stengel in the 89th minute made its way past freshman Catalina Perez to cut the Miami lead in half. The Hurricanes held on, however, extending their home unbeaten streak to five straight matches.
“This shows we have it in us,” Paterson said. “If we play our game the whole time, we can keep the game where we want it.”
The Hurricanes return to Cobb Stadium Sunday for a matchup with fifth-ranked North Carolina. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.