The 2018 season won’t be remembered as one for the ages but second-year head coach Sarah Barnes will undoubtedly use moments from last fall as building blocks for future success.
The Hurricanes bid farewell to six seniors following the 2018 campaign but not before they were sent off in style following one of the biggest wins in program history - a 1-0 overtime victory vs No. 9 Florida State.
Saddled with a four-game winless streak heading into Senior Night on Oct. 25, Miami played host to the eventual National Champion Seminoles in the season finale. Sporting a 2-6-1 mark in conference play -- and 5-9-3 overall -- a berth in the ACC Tournament was out of reach for Barnes’ Hurricanes. But as they suited up one last time in front of the second-largest home crowd (1,850) in program history, it was clear from the get-go this inspired group of young ladies wasn’t letting their season pass quietly into the history books
With both teams locked in a scoreless tie after 90 minutes, the match went into the extra session where Miami freshman Mallory Olsson delivered the golden goal in the 97th minute to give the Canes their first victory over FSU since upsetting the top-ranked Seminoles in Coral Gables back in 2012.
Outshot 25-1 by Florida State, Olsson’s game-winner came on Miami’s only shot attempt of the evening, set up by an assist from Bayleigh Chaviers and Kristina Fisher.
”Obviously beating the national champion and in-state rival in the last game of the season was a fantastic boost for the team’s confidence and their belief in what’s possible,” Coach Barnes said, looking back on one of her finest moments in year one with the Orange and Green. “A big take away (from) the goal we scored -- we were balanced defensively and prepared to intercept, showed patience, worked to put numbers in front of the ball on the counterattack, had an excellent near-post run and a perfect service (after they) committed their defender and goalkeeper.
“If any one of those movements or decisions weren’t made, we would not have won. It’s a critical example of how important the small details are in executing.”
While Olsson was the hero of the overtime period, it was senior goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce that kept Miami alive long enough for Olsson’s dagger. Tullis-Joyce saved seven shots, including one in the 95th minute and another in the final seconds of regulation when the redshirt-senior denied a potential game-winning header.
“(Tullis-Joyce’s) performance in goal was obviously impressive,” Barnes said. “Defensively, we were under tremendous pressure all night and our players sustained their focus, work rate and commitment to executing our defensive strategy,”
The Miami goalie finished her senior season with a career-best 85 saves. Additionally, Tullis-Joyce’s 259 career saves place her third all-time in school history, while her 14 shutouts move her into a second-place tie in the program’s 21-year history.
2018: The season in review
The Hurricanes opened 2018 with a 3-1 record following a 1-nil victory at Lipscomb until an overtime loss to Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) at home triggered a seven-game winless streak that saw Miami drop to 3-6-2 just beyond the season’s halfway point.
On the heels of back-to-back shutout losses, the Canes rebounded with the first ACC win of the Barnes-era, a 1-0 shutout of Syracuse. They followed that with a 3-2 win at Pittsburgh as freshman forward Gudran Haralz recorded the hat trick to overcome a 2-0 halftime deficit.
Sitting at 5-6-2 on the year, Miami suffered a 3-0 loss at Louisville but returned home to draw even with No. 8 Boston College in a 1-1 tie. Trailing 1-0 in the 71st minute, Olsson notched the equalizer off a feed from Sammy Neyman as Tullis-Joyce recorded a then-season-high eight saves.
The roller-coaster season continued as the Canes were victims of a heartbreaking 1-0 loss at N.C. State, giving up an own goal in the second minute. Then, four days prior to the season-ending stunner over the Noles, Miami’s offense would struggle in a 2-0 loss at North Carolina -- the eventual runner-up to FSU -- despite a program record 17 saves from Tullis-Joyce.
Along with Maise Baker, Jamie Brunworth, Camie Kelton, Molly Lynch and Dalanda Ouendeno, Tullis-Joyce is among the half-dozen seniors that Barnes is tasked with replacing. Miami’s second-year coach is confident her squad will be better than last year, however, an already-loaded conference slate could become even tougher to navigate in 2019.
“This season is going to be another huge challenge,” she said. “We’ve improved, but in our conference, the top teams don’t drop off and the teams at the bottom continue to get better.
”If we report for preseason more fit than last year, compete with discipline and intensity, and stay healthy, we’ll be in a position to earn a result in every game we play. We have a strong senior class and we’re excited to help them finish their careers off on a positive note and compete in the post-season.”
Sarah Barnes: The Manager of Miami
Barnes became the program’s fourth coach of the decade when she was hired in February 2018. She arrived in Coral Gables by way of George Washington, where she was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 2015 after finishing undefeated in conference play. During six seasons at George Washington, she compiled a 60-41-14 (.583) mark, including a 48-23-8 (.658) record over the last four years.
Barnes also spent four seasons at the University of Texas, where her final year in Austin coincided with current Miami football coach Manny Diaz’s first season as the Longhorns’ defensive coordinator in 2011.
Prior to Texas, she coached 10 seasons at her alma mater, the University of Connecticut, after graduating magna cum laude in 1998 with a degree in Sociology. A native of Snohomish, Washington, Barnes holds a master’s degree with a dual emphasis on social psychology and women in sports.
2019 News and Notes
Miami opens the new season with a friendly at Florida Gulf Coast on Aug. 12. Two home exhibitions follow on Aug. 15 and Aug, 18 before the season begins at UTRGV on Aug. 22. The home opener is scheduled for Aug. 29 vs Florida Atlantic.
The Canes will visit Florida on Sept. 15 in the final tune-up before conference play gets underway in Blacksburg, Virginia on Sept. 21.
On Sept. 29, Miami will host Pitt in the conference home opener - a game that is set to be televised on the newly minted ACC Network.
Miami has not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2012 and hasn’t qualified for the ACC Tournament since 2016. The Hurricanes’ last NCAA Tournament victory came in 2011 when they were unable to qualify for the conference tournament (only the top eight make the cut) but were one of nine ACC teams selected for the NCAA Tourney. They would defeat Alabama, 3-2 in overtime before falling 1-0 at Long Beach State in round two.
For additional information on Miami soccer, you can visit the team’s official site.