JACKSONVILLE – Miami (2-0-0) registered six of its 21 shots in the extra session, none better than Flinn’s clinical finish on a cross from freshman midfielder Betsy Middleton at the 100-minute mark. Under the direction of first-year head coach Mary-Frances Monroe, the Hurricanes have recorded back-to-back wins to open the season for the first time since 2008.
“It wasn’t the prettiest performance, but the biggest thing we talked to the team about is getting three points on the road,” Monroe said. “For them to not play particularly well and get the win is something that we’re very happy about.”
The pivotal goal continued an impressive personal trend for Flinn, who has developed a penchant for delivering timely finishes. She adds Sunday’s golden goal to a growing list that includes a double-overtime winner in the 2011 NCAA postseason and an 89th-minute tally over No. 1 Florida State to lock up a berth in the 2012 ACC Championship.
“It was pretty exciting to get the goal,” Flinn said. “We had a rough game today, and didn’t perform very well. It was good to get the victory. Going into the overtime, we wanted to finish strong. We didn’t want to get on a six-hour bus ride without the win.”
The visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the 16-minute mark, but a first-half comeback from the Dolphins (1-1-0) saw the score knotted up by halftime. Flinn, whose multi-goal performance marked the first of her career, converted a Paige Lombard cross just five minutes into the match to give Miami its first lead of the afternoon.
“I called to Paige and luckily she heard me,” Flinn said. “I was left all alone on the header, it was wide open and all I needed to do was tap it in.”
Forward Jasmine Paterson doubled the advantage ten minutes later, tallying the second goal of her sophomore campaign with a brilliant volley on a long pass from senior Blake Stockton. The Key Largo, Fla., native, who delivered the game-winning goal Friday night against Cincinnati, continued her impressive start to the season.
“That goal was beautiful, and it’s a credit to Blake on perfect service into the box,” Monroe said. “A very special goal on Jasmine’s part.”
The Hurricanes lost focus after jumping out to the commanding early advantage, giving up two unanswered goals – including one just seconds after Paterson’s finish – to enter the locker room with a 2-2 score.
“I think this team works hard, but they have to realize they need to be plugged into the game for 90 minutes,” Monroe said. “We suffered the consequences, giving up two goals that shouldn’t have been goals. These are things we can and will definitely solve.”
After an uneventful second half, the Hurricanes opened the extra period with an impressive string of offense. Shots from Lombard and Ally Andreini were off the mark, freshman Gianna Dal Pozzo hit the post with a shot of her own, and Dolphins goalie Sarah Sierra made saves on attempts from Andreini and Paterson to keep the score level.
The Hurricanes took a deserved victory in the overtime on the finish from Flinn, who netted the team-leading ninth goal of her career. Miami outshot the Dolphins 21-13, and registered 10 corner kicks in the match.
“Ashley came up big time for us,” Monroe said. “We had good possession and the majority of the opportunities in overtime. Betsy did a fantastic job of keeping the ball and getting nice service in, and Ashley went over the top for the goal. We’re very proud of the team on getting the win today.”
The Hurricanes return to Coral Gables for a week of training before traveling to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sun., Aug. 25. Kickoff for the match is set for 1 p.m.