Mens soccer kicks off season Friday against Loyola Marymount

After opening up with five consecutive wins, the Mens Soccer team started to cool off and finished last season winless in conference play.

The Panthers now look to bounce back in 2013 with a schedule that includes nine conference games; seven of them against teams that qualified for the 2012 NCAA Tournament, such as Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico, UAB, Old Dominion, Kentucky, Tulsa and Charlotte.

The Panthers will be traveling most of the season, with 11 of the 17 regular season contests taking place on the road. However, this might prove to be beneficial to the Panthers, seeing as they posted a 6-3-1 record away from FIU Stadium, while only managing a 2-4-1 record at home.

“I’m looking forward to the first game,” Coach Ken Arena said. “Were going to take it one game at a time. We want to win every game we play but we are going to seriously focus on each team we play.”

FIU will kick off its regular season with five consecutive road games. The first of which will be against the Loyola Marymount Lions on August 30th with a start time of 10:00 p.m. The Panthers will stay in the California area to take on San Diego State just two days later. This game will also have a 10:00 p.m. start time.

After California, the Panthers will head back to the Sunshine State, slowly making their way down to Miami. The first game on the Florida road trip will be in Orlando against the University of Central Florida Knights on September 5th. After facing the Knights, the Panthers will travel to Fort Myers to take on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on September 7th. The road trip will finally come to an end when the Panthers open up conference play against the Florida Atlantic Owls on September 14th. All games on the Florida road trip will have a 7:00 p.m. start time.

Panther fans will finally get a chance to watch their team play when they come home to take on North Florida on September 20th. The Panthers will play just one more home game against Jacksonville on September 22th, before returning on the road once again.

The Panthers will head out to New Jersey and Pennsylvania for a two game road trip. FIU will take on Princeton on September 27th at 7:00 p.m., then two days later on September 29th, when they take on the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in a 12:00 p.m. matchup.

“All the conference games are going to be really important,” Junior forward Quentin Albrecht said. ”Last year we didn’t win one game, so we really got to make it up.”

The Panthers will then return to Miami as they begin a streak of eight consecutive conference games. FIU will first face off against Marshall on October 6th at 6:00 p.m. Then the Panthers will go on the road to take on New Mexico on October 12th and UAB on October 16th.

The Panthers will host Old Dominion on October 19th at 6:30 p.m. before going to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats on October 26th. After their match with Kentucky, they will come back home to face the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 30th.

The Panthers will travel to Oklahoma to play its final regular season road game against 2012 NCAA quarterfinalist Tulsa on November 3th at 5:00 p.m. Finally, they will end the 17-game regular season on November 8th at home against Charlotte.

The C-USA conference tournament is expected to take place from November 13-17th at the University of Charlotte.

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