Francisco Rivero/ Staff Writer
FIU traveled up to Orlando on Oct. 3 to face the University of Central Florida for their second conference game of the year.
Coming into the game, the headline was the battle of two high-scoring forwards in FIU’s Quentin Albrecht and UCF’s Deshorn Brown. Each forward lead their respective teams with seven goals this season.
The first half of the game was a defensive battle between the Panthers and the Knights. FIU (6-2-2) got off nine shots on goal while UCF (4-3-2) collected five. However, the Panthers goalkeeper, Robin Spiegel, stood strong with a scoreless first half and two saves. The Knights goalie, Sebastian Evers, did not go unnoticed either, holding FIU to a scoreless second half.
Upon entering the second half, both teams looked to assert their dominance and leave the game with a win. It wasn’t until the 65th minute when a foul was called on forward Colby Burdette, giving the Knights a penalty kick opportunity. UCF’s leading scorer, Brown, sank in the first goal of the game while adding his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Panthers answered with the equalizer from two shots by forward Daniel Gonzalez, but it was all-for-none as Evers ended up having his second straight shutout game.
With the loss to UCF, the Panthers have fallen to 1-2-2 in their last six games. The main reason for this is that the Panthers have begun playing conference games whose record was 1-5-2 last season.
The more shocking stat is that the teams the Panthers have either drawn or lost to, have shot less than FIU. Over the past six games, the Panthers have had 76 shots to their opponents 65. However, the Panthers fall short to their opponents when it comes to shots on goal. Over the past six games, FIU has had 19 shots on goal while their opponents have had 26.
FIU must also look into finding a second scoring option on their team. Of the 15 goals, the Panthers have this season, seven have come from Albrecht, three from Burdette, two from midfielder Gonzalo Frechilla and goals from midfielder Daniel Gonzalez, midfielder Patrick Ramdial and forward Nicolas Rodriguez.
Coming into this season, both Burdette and Gonzalez were looking to be the team’s first or second scoring option; however, both have struggled to get off to strong offensive starts.
Coming into the 2012 season, the bright point of this team was all the young talent that came to play for FIU. However, after 10 games, only two freshmen have scored for the Panthers.
Gonzalez, FIU’s number one signee, has had only one goal and three assists so far this season, while Ramdial has one goal and one assist. Other freshman like forward Andrew Mattek have gathered zero goals and assists.
FIU will need its young guns to perform better and get on the scoreboard more often this season if they are to achieve their goals and Head Coach Kenny Arena’s goal of reaching the Conference USA tournament.