To say it has been a struggle for the Miami Hurricanes’ women’s soccer team so far this season would be an understatement.
The Canes are off to a 2-6 start — home losses to Florida Gulf Coast and Florida Atlantic were perhaps most troubling — and have scored one goal or less in seven of their eight games.
And now the really hard part begins with the start of Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday at No.2 Virginia (8-0).
The Hurricanes are 0-4 on the road this season.
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So far, the only team Miami has played that is currently in the top 25 is No.6 Florida, which routed the Canes 3-0. But more tough tests are coming.
In a two-week span, the Canes will play four consecutive matches against top 25 teams, playing host to No.5 Florida State on Oct.4 and No.3 Virginia Tech on Oct.9 and then traveling to No.19 Notre Dame on Oct.12 and No.17 Clemson on Oct.18.
On Oct.26, the Canes will play at No.10 North Carolina, which has won 21 of the 31 NCAA titles to make it one of the most dominant programs in all of sports.
Last season, which was Miami’s first under coach Mary-Frances Monroe, the Canes were 5-0 in nonconference play before finishing 9-8-1.
A .500-type record this season seems far-fetched given how the team has struggled outside the brutal ACC this year.
Miami’s leading scorer is New Jersey senior Erin McGovern, who has two goals and one assist.
Jasmine Patterson, a junior from Key Largo, and Emily Auld, a sophomore from England, also have two goals.
Ashley Flinn, a senior from Michigan who led Miami and placed seventh in the ACC last season with 10 goals, has yet to get a goal or an assist in eight games this year.
But Flinn is not alone. Eleven Canes who have played multiple games this season have been held without a goal.
Akemi Moehama, who completed her eligibility last season after helping Barry’s women’s tennis team win two Division II national titles in four years, is one of 30 semifinalists for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year award.
Of those 30, there are 10 from Division I, 10 from Division II and 10 from Division III. No athlete from a Florida school made the Division I cut.
Nine finalists — three in every division — will be announced on Thursday for an award that considers athletic and academic accomplishments, as well as community service. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct.19.
Moehama finished her career with a 47-3 record in singles, setting a Barry record with a .940 win percentage.
Academically, she was an ITA Scholar All-American all four years, graduating in May with a degree in physical education after posting a 3.91 grade-point average. She recently earned an NCAA post-graduate scholarship and continues a grand Barry tradition. She is the ninth Barry athlete to make it to the final 30, which is more than any other school.
Setter Katie Pyles, a 5-9 sophomore from Denver, was named the Sunshine State Conference Volleyball Player of the Week. She is the first NSU player ever to get consecutive triple-doubles, posting those numbers in assists, digs and kills. The second-year starter is also the first NSU player since 2007 to get even one triple-double.
MIAMI DADE COLLEGE
The women’s volleyball team is off to a 4-0 start and already has beaten two of the top 15 junior-college teams in the nation, including No.5 College of Central Florida.
The women’s volleyball team (9-4) recently ended Embry Riddle’s 76-match conference winning streak, the longest active regular-season streak in NAIA.