Panthers hit the road for two game trip

(Jonathan Segal/ The Beacon)

Photo by Jonathan Segal

Francisco Rivero/ Contributing Writer

Two players have stood out so far in Arena’s European style: goalie Robin Spiegel and forward Quentin Albrecht.

Albrecht and Spiegel’s strong start is surprising because of how young they are. Albrecht is a sophomore who scored only five goals last season. This season, he already has four goals in three games this year.

“I like the way he plays. He brings that European style of soccer where he wants to keep the ball a lot and create a lot of scoring opportunities,” said Albrecht. “Thats good for me because I’m a forward and I like to get the passes from my midfielders and defenders.”

Meanwhile, Spiegel is an incoming freshman from Germany who already has 2 shutouts this season while allowing only one goal in three games. The young goalie has earned a starting spot over sophomore Rodney Greiling and junior Eric Reyes. Arena’s European style is one of the main reasons for Spiegel’s early success.

“The soccer in the U.S. is so different than the soccer in Europe; he taught me about choosing the right spot and catching the crosses,” Spiegel said.

However, when it comes to their personal goals for the rest of the season, they can both agree on one thing.

“I would like to reach the national championships and play against the top universities like University of California Los Angeles and University of North Carolina, the champions from last year,” Spiegel said.

“My goal is definitely to make it to the tournament and win the tournament,” added Albrecht.


A large part of the Panthers early success this season has been their much-improved defense. FIU has only allowed one goal in three games this year while also holding their opponents to a .033 shot percentage. It’s a stark contrast when compared to last year’s .140 shot percentage.

The Panthers have also improved their shots on goal defense by only allowing eight successful shot on goals this year, which adds up to a total of a .267 shot on goal percentage. Last year, the team had allowed a .464 clip.

While FIU’s defense has vastly improved, their offense has reaped the benefits, producing 20 shots on goal themselves, bringing their total shot on goal percentage to .417 and their shot percentage to .104.


FIU (3-0) now heads north to take on Wisconsin (1-2-2) on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. The Badgers come into play with 15 shots on goal and a percentage of .556. In addition, Wisconsin has also held their opponents to 15 shots on goal.

The Panthers will have to contain Wisconsin’s forward Chris Prince, who has two goals on five attempts. FIU will also have to get through the defense of goalkeeper Chase Rau who has six saves this season.

The Badgers have scored seven goals this season, most of which came on a four-goal performance against Memphis, Tenn. This is a team that Spiegel knows he has to defend well.

“I will try to play my style by being aggressive, being offensive and I hope I can get the next shutout,”  Spiegel said.

For Arena, Wisconsin is a team that he takes seriously.

“We’ve watched them, they’re a good team and well coached. They’ll be competitive and we’re looking forward to a good game,” explained Arena.

After Wisconsin, FIU will head to University of Illinois Chicago (2-2-1) on Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. The Flames as a whole are a strong offensive team with three team goals coming from 38 shots on goal. UIC’s goalkeeper, Piotr Kikolski, has a total of 10 saves under his belt but has also allowed three goals.

Arena’s philosophy for winning these next two games is simple:

“Score more goals than them.”

About the Author

Francisco Rivero
: FIU Student Media Sports Director, Co-Host of Panther Sports Talk Live, Sports and Opinion writer, Communications major.

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