Mens Soccer looking for another hot start but better finish

After getting off to a hot start last season, the mens soccer team started to find themselves as the talk of the university. However, after going winless during conference games the Panthers found themselves out of the tournament hunt.

The start of the 2013 season will not be as forgiving as last season. The Panthers start off with seven of their first nine games away from FIU.

“The level that we have to get to is the level that the best FIU teams are used too and that is competing for championships,” Head Coach Kenny Arena said. “The quality of our opponents wasn’t as high as it should’ve been, so we tried to make our non-conference schedule a little tougher to better prepare us for the conference.”

Under Arena’s first season, FIU posted its highest win total since the 2005 campaign (8-8-2). The panthers were able to achieve one of the nations top non-conference records at (8-1-1). However, they weren’t able to tally a single conference game victory (0-7-1).

Arena knows that although last year was a disappointment, lessons must be learned and applied for the upcoming season.

“Last year we weren’t prepared to deal with injuries to our team.” Expressed Arena. “We have helped that issue with a really solid recruiting class that includes transfers and freshmen.“

Coach Arena was able to add some depth to his roster with a very successful recruiting class. In fact, list this class as one of five classes in the country with tremendous potential. The recruits include 15 total players such as Freshmen Forward/Midfielder Jamar Campion-Hinds, who received First-Team Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald all-county honors during his senior year at American Heritage. Among the transfers is also Junior Midfielder Roberto Alterio who led the University of South Florida in scoring before transferring to FIU.

The Panthers also has some veteran stars on the team such as Junior Forward Quentin Albrecht who received C-USA Third-Team honors as a freshman and C-USA Second-Team honors as a sophomore. When asked what he needs to do to finally crack C-USA First-Team he responded.

“I hope to finally get to the conference tournament I think that was the major issue last year. I have to score more goals. Last year I was third in the scoring rankings, this year I want to be first place. But most important you have to get to the tournament to achieve it.”

With coach Arena having one year under his belt in the C-USA, the help of a strong recruiting class as well as surprising veterans, the Panthers look to maintain a steady and consistent performance. Most of which is the mental part of the game as Albrecht is well aware of.

“The key is the mentality,” Said Albrecht. “We have to become a winning team we can’t accept losing games.”

Be the first to comment on "Mens Soccer looking for another hot start but better finish"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.