Shutout win extends streak to three games

By: Anthony Guivas / Staff Writer

With the regular season coming to a close, the Golden Panthers are finishing strong as they come off two immense wins against North Texas and Denver. Both of which are the top two teams in the conference.

Along with those two great wins, FIU’s own goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage earned the SBC player of the week after she shutout both North Texas and Denver this past weekend.

Now the Golden Panthers come into play on Oct. 27 facing off against the ULM Warhawks, who are having a horrendous season  with a 5-11-1 overall record and a 0-8-0 record in the SBC.  ULM’s dismal season will continue, since FIU beat ULM 3-0 in Louisiana.

The Golden Panthers continued to have the good times roll as they not only notched their third consecutive win, but also made FIU history.

For the first time ever in the history of the women’s soccer program, the Golden Panthers have had three consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins. With this adjudication, the Golden Panthers have proved that they are becoming one of the elite teams in the SBC.

“That is a great accomplishment for our team as for this program… We certainly don’t want to stop at 10 games this year and we certainly don’t want to stop with three consecutive seasons. We will make it four next year,” said coach Thomas Chestnutt.

To achieve this accolade, the Panthers did so in stellar fashion, as they did not give the Warhawks any breathing room.

The first half was where the Golden Panthers made their damage, as the team scored back-to-back-to-back goals in a matter of seven minutes.

In the 13th minute, sophomore Kim Lopez took a beautiful assist from Chelsea Leiva and drove it home to open the scoring and marking her first goal of the season. That shot was then a sign for things to come as two minutes later the Golden Panthers striked again.

In 15th minute, FIU lined up for a corner kick, which resulted in freshman Sara Stewart setting up a great ball for co-captain Victoria Miliucci, who then delivered a header. But ULM’ goalkeeper saved it but couldn not hold on to the ball, resulting in Miliucci capitalizing on her mistake.

FIU was then up 2-0 in the first 15 minutes of play, but the Golden Panthers added another goal for extra measure in the 20th minute. Sophomore Chelsea Leiva nailed the final goal of the game after taking an assist from Deanna Rossi.

“I think the girls showed their maturity today… being ready and focused from the get go and obviously that focus translated into three early goals,” Chestnutt said.

After starting off the season with some bumps on the road, the Panthers have been able to gain team chemistry and become a true contender to win the Sun Belt Tournament.

“The maturity that they had on this trip showed that we are improving in going to another level as a group,” Chestnutt said. The Golden Panthers will now finish the season with the remaining two games being played at home. FIU will first face off against Louisiana on Oct. 30 at noon.

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