FIU earns draw vs. UCF in rain-shortened match

Photo by Sana Ullah

Photo by Sana Ullah

By: Brandon Wise / Staff Writer

As a steady rain fell onto FIU’s soccer field, freshman goalie Rodney Greiling stood firm between the posts. With the shut-out in his grasp and the clock winding down slowly, the rain continued to pound the field. Then suddenly, the lightning alarm sounded. Players were forced to evacuate the field and the referees called it a night.

It was almost a blessing in disguise, as the players would never return to the pitch. FIU earned a draw against sixth-ranked Central Florida, 0-0 on Oct. 11.

The game was not called until after a 45-minute delay once the rain and lightning finally let up. However, the field was deemed unplayable due to torrential down pours over the past hour. Puddles formed across the pitch, nearly turning the field into a pond.

Despite the heavy rain, the fans showed their support for the team. A season-high attendance of 741 fans came out to the stadium to support the Golden Panthers.

Defense Shines

Greiling has played a major role in two of the last three games, pitching two shut-outs against ranked opponents and picking up six saves in each.

In the first half, UCF had a chance to take the lead. A shot dribbled through the defenders and Greiling dove to make the stop. He reached the line and kept the ball from crossing for a goal.

The rest of the FIU defense held strong against its toughest opponent of the year and the NCAA’s top scorer, McKauly Tulloch. Jahbari Willis held Tulloch to only two shots, neither of which was on goal. As a team, the Knights only had six shots on target.

The Golden Panther offense had a rally at the beginning of the second half, but could not produce a goal from it. Lucas Di Croce, Anthony Hobbs and Arnthor Kristinsson all had cracks at the net early in the second, but could not keep any of them on target.

The Road Ahead

FIU is now 1-2-1 in Conference USA, tied for fourth with Southern Methodist University with four points, which is their next opponent.

They will head to Dallas to face the Mustangs on Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. It will be a key game that could decide the middle of the conference table.

The defense will have to contain the reigning Conference USA offensive player of the week, Arthur Ivo.

In his last two matches, Ivo recorded a goal and two assists against the University of Tulsa and Marshall University.

Juan Castillo is also a threat to score on goal, as he has three goals on the season to lead the Mustangs.

After heading to SMU, the Golden Panthers will then travel to Tulsa on Oct. 19 to take on the Hurricanes at 7 p.m.

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