FIU’s Dynamic Duo

Batman & Robin, LeBron & Wade, Quentin & Alterio?  While these two might not be at the level of the aforementioned duos, they have been able to make the FIU soccer squad a formidable offensive force.

“We need competition on the team, especially myself” Junior forward Quentin Albrecht said. “We need to score and he’s a guy who can score.”

The Panther’s are currently 16th in the country in total goals scored (14). The leader of the offensive attack so far has been USF transfer Junior midfielder Roberto Alterio with four goals through seven games. The four goals are good enough to rank him 18th in the nation in total goals scored.

Not far behind is the man who led FIU in total goals last season (10), Quentin Albrecht, with two goals. While Albrecht has only connected on two goals this season, he leads the team with shot attempts (21). Eventually, the law of averages will come in play and he will likely see some of those missed shots become goals.

The sky is the limit for FIU’s offense with these two studs leading the attack. As Alterio becomes further acclimated with the team and builds greater chemistry with Albrecht, the goals should come in bunches. Alterio and Albrecht should continue to push each other all season, which should lead to a very exciting campaign for the Panther’s.

Best Defense is a Good Offense

FIU at the moment is ranked dead last in Conference USA in goals allowed per game (1.86). Yet, FIU seems to be turning a new page on the defensive side of the ball as they have only surrendered three goals in their last three meetings.

“We’re young, we’re a little inexperienced, that aggression defensively leads to some fouls.” Head Coach Ken Arena explained. “We played four games in eight days, we probably challenge our self physically and mentally more than any team in the country. I think now as we have games, which were more fresh, we could hold ourselves to the standard we need to defensively.”

FIU was able to record its first shutout of the season on Sunday evening against the Jacksonville Dolphins, although the Panthers almost had one a few nights before against the North Florida Ospreys.  In both matches, FIU combined for 46 total shots, while their opponents only attempted 16.

The Panther’s have been able to control the ball for much of the game in both instances, which has led to two successful games for the defense that had been struggling. FIU’s best defensive strategy seems to be to just be on the constant attack.

Tough slate ahead

After failing to win a single conference game the prior year (0-7-1), it’s no surprise that the point of emphasis this year has been conference play. FIU has already dropped their first conference game of the season to the undefeated first year C-USA member FAU Owls (5-0-1), in a 2-1 loss.

The Panther’s are just three short weeks away from heading into the part of the schedule everyone’s been waiting for. On Oct. 6, the Panther’s will take on the Marshall Thundering Herd to begin a streak of eight consecutive conference games.

FIU will play half of the games on that slate on the road. The Panther’s are off to a pedestrian start on the road currently 2-3 away from home. However, FIU should be ready for the tough road ahead as they were able to improve the strength of their non-conference schedule in order to prepare them for these games.

“The quality of our opponents wasn’t as high as it should’ve been.” rationalized Arena. “We tried to make our non-conference schedule a little tougher to better prepare us for the conference.”

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