Miami soccer ended non-conference play with a tough 2-0 loss Sunday night. Facing off against inner-state rival Xavier, the ’Hawks struggled to create chances against a stingy Musketeers squad.
Both of Xavier’s (6-4) goals came late in the first half, after they dominated Miami (2-4-1) in possession and shots on goal – the Musketeers outshot the ’Hawks 12-1 in the first 45 minutes.
“Great credit to Xavier, they scored two fantastic goals,” head coach Courtney Sirmans said to Miami Athletics. “We need to be more offensive minded. I thought we made adjustments in the second half and got a little more on the attack and didn’t give up another goal.”
Immediately after kick-off, the Musketeers put Miami on its heels. Senior goalkeeper Patricia Koutoulas was forced to make an early diving save to keep the Red & White from falling into a hole.
In the 30th minute, Xavier’s redshirt junior forward Samantha Dewey pounced on a loose ball in the ’Hawks’ box and slotted it away to put XU up 1-0.
Miami couldn’t get out of the half and conceded a free-kick outside the box with 30 seconds left. Junior midfielder Grace Bahr converted on the chance to give the Musketeers a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Though the RedHawks drove numbers forward in the second half, they were ultimately unable to create any scoring opportunities. Xavier finished the night outshooting Miami 28-5.
Koutoulas managed to keep the score from getting ugly, making 11 saves on the night.
“Pat [Koutoulas] had a fantastic game,” Sirmans said. “She kept us in the game and made some great saves. Her distribution in the back helps us on offense too. It was important for her to have a good performance coming off the Lipscomb game.”
Miami will look to turn things around when they begin Mid-American Conference play against Bowling Green on Friday.
“Moving forward, it’s about conference play and starting a brand new season,” Sirmans said. “We’re excited to get back to the basics this week. I have all the faith in the world this team will show up.”
Kickoff is at 4 p.m. at the Miami Soccer Field.