TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After splitting their recent homestand against a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference foes, the Miami Hurricanes hit the road for a matchup with in-state rival and third-ranked Florida State. Kickoff for Thursday’s match is set for 7 p.m. from the Seminole Soccer Complex.
For head coach Mary-Frances Monroe, the upcoming rivalry game is another chance for Miami (6-3-0, 1-3-0 ACC) to prove itself against one of the nation’s best clubs.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge for us,” Monroe said. “But this is the reason we play in the ACC. Every game is going to be tough, and I think we’re ready for it.”
Last time the Hurricanes faced the Seminoles (8-0-2, 3-0-1), a dramatic 89th-minute strike from Ashley Flinn proved the difference in the regular season finale for both teams. The victory snapped Miami’s 12-game winless streak against its in-state foe, and clinched a berth in the 2012 ACC Championship field – the Hurricanes’ first since 2008.
Miami impressed its recent home stretch, besting NC State 2-1 for its first conference victory of the season. Junior midfielder Erin McGovern and sophomore Jasmine Paterson tallied in the win, which extended an undefeated streak against the Wolfpack that dates back to 2006.
Despite falling 4-0 against fifth-ranked North Carolina Sunday, the Hurricanes showed well in defeat. 2012 Herrmann Trophy winner
Crystal Dunn recorded her career-first hat trick for the Tar Heels in her team’s victory.
“I think we’re getting better prepared for each game as the season goes on,” Monroe said. “The team is getting more comfortable, so we’re starting to put ourselves in positions to find success. They have the competitive mentality that we need to be successful in this conference.”
Monroe was encouraged by the training session that preceded Wednesday’s flight to Tallahassee.
“We had a great training session today, and we know we need to carry it into the match,” Monroe said. “We have to stay positive and keep the competitive mentality we’ve been showing in practice and games”
The Hurricanes will not have another match until an Oct. 6 tilt against Notre Dame, as they look to enter their longest break of the season with a strong showing against a talented Florida State side that sits atop the ACC table.
“This is a big challenge for us, no doubt about it,” Monroe said. “We’ve been talking about FSU all week. We have a gameplan going into the game, and if we execute it, I think we will find success.”