Sterling FIU defense shuts down weekend foes

(Jasen Delgado/The Beacon)

Michael Ortega/Contributing Writer

The Panthers stout defense didn’t allow any goals this weekend against Louisiana State University and Idaho, as FIU drew and won respectively. The win allowed the team to climb above .500 again.

FIU 0, LSU 0 

In the final game of a three-game road trip, the Panthers tied Louisiana State University in a double-overtime draw in Baton Rouge, La.,

Chelsea Leiva performed the hat trick against Idaho, three goals in one game(Jasen Delgado/The Beacon)

on Sept. 7

The Panthers took the field on Friday with the same enthusiasm they did against their last opponent, nationally ranked University of Florida. FIU came out attacking from the beginning of the game; they shot five times in the first half trying to take the lead early.

LSU fought back with six shots and five corner kicks in the first half. FIU had no corner kicks through the entire game.

Thanks to goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage, none of LSU’s six shots reached net. Savage had three saves in the first half.

After halftime, LSU showed a big spark of life attacking FIU with 15 shots compared to FIU’s two. Savage again did not let any shots pass her, and recorded another two saves. Most of LSU’s shots were nowhere near the goal thanks to strong defense  by the Panthers.

At the end of regular play, FIU ended with seven shots and five saves to LSU’s 21 shots and three saves. After 90 minutes, both teams were at draw, leading to the first overtime.

In the first overtime, FIU attacked first with two quick shots at LSU’s goalkeeper Megan Kinneman who had six saves throughout the entire game. LSU also had one shot during the first overtime but never made it past Savage. Savage ended the night with a total of six saves.

Both teams ended the first overtime with no goals, leading to the second and final overtime.

In the second overtime, LSU and FIU both took one shot, yet only FIU’s shot was near the goal causing another save for Kinneman. With that last save, the game ended with the score at 0-0 with a tie.

FIU fought hard earning a total of 15 fouls to LSU’s nine.

FIU 6, Idaho 0

The Panthers offense overwhelmed Idaho 6-0 on Sept.9 at FIU stadium after the draw against LSU on Friday night.

FIU (3-2-1) took the field with a game plan of attacking first and forcing shots. FIU had 22 shots in the game with six of them reaching net.

“They came out with the same enthusiasm from last game of attacking,” said Head coach Thomas Chestnutt.

Chelsea Leiva scored three of the team’s goals against the Vandals (2-6). The first one came in the 36th minute with an assist from Madien Weinhardt, the second in the 67th minute with the assist from midfielder Kim Lopez, and her third goal was the last goal of the game came in the 83rd minute of play with an assist from Alexa Arrasate. This was Leiva’s first hat trick of the season, soccer lingo for three goals.

“I only had the hat trick because we did a really great job, midfield picked up their heads and played through balls and we had a lot of composer,” said Leiva. “It feels like I haven’t had a hat trick in so long.”

Leiva took advantage of Idaho’s defense by playing wide. She roamed the field but mostly attacked the weakness of the defense.

“I tried to stay wide because it kind of felt like the other team was over shifted when coming down the field,” said Leiva. “Also picking up headers from the midfielders and the timing the right passes.”

In addition to Leiva, three more Panthers scored. First up was midfielder Scarlett Montoya in the 40th minute which put up the Panthers 2-0. The next score came off a corner header from Weinhardt allowing defender Nikki Rios to slam one in right before halftime. The third one came from midfielder Johanna Volz coming from an assist from Leiva in the 78th minute.

“Three goals in the first half and three in the second half really showed the mental focus we have been talking about. These goals were not sloppy goals from mistakes or errors but quality shots we produced from start to finish. It is good to see what we have been working on in the training grounds come out on the field,” said Chestnutt.

The Panthers showed that they could attack the goal when playing with intensity. The Panthers will need to keep this intensity heading into the Cats Classic next weekend where they face off against two PAC 12 opponents.

“We are looking forward to it, the girls will enjoy the win tonight but starting tomorrow we start planning for Arizona and Arizona State,” said Chestnutt.

“Next weekend is going to be really tough. We are really going to try to prepare ourselves by watching video of LSU and tonight and work hard in practice,” said Leiva.

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