The FIU Men’s soccer team (3-4-0) have started three different players at goalie this season. The latest Panther to get a crack at defending the goal for FIU was redshirt sophomore Daniel Mion.
“We’re going to sit down and evaluate what we think,” Head Coach Ken Arena said. ”Danny obviously did a good job so he is going to be strongly considered.”
FIU’s latest victory came by way of a shutout, which coincidently was the Panthers first of the season. The goalkeeper for that match was none other than Daniel Mion. Mion finished with five saves en route to a 2-0 win over the (1-4-1) Jacksonville Dolphins.
For Mion, this was the first start of his young collegiate career.
However, when asked if he experienced any pre-game jitters, “No, Not really,” Mion said. “I prepared really well for the game in training every day, just waiting for my opportunity. I got my chance and was fortunate enough to get a shutout.”
The success of Mion shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as he had a very successful high school career, posting 29 shutouts during his tenure at Belen Jesuit Prep. At Belen, Mion received numerous honors such as being named to the ESPN RISE All-Florida team, First-Team All-Dade and won two district titles and a regional championship in 2011. He also had success off the field making the honor-roll each of his four years in high school.
Mion seemed to have great camaraderie with his fellow teammates as they fooled around with each other during the post-practice interviews. The Panthers hope that chemistry could transfer to better play for the defense on the field.
“The defense played well,” Mion said. “I had some saves, the team has to focus and concentrate to not give up any goals. I think we can build on that and hopefully get a few more shutouts.”
The Panthers have given up 13 goals through seven games, which places them at the bottom of the barrel among teams in their conference. FIU hopes that the emergence of goalie Daniel Mion will help alleviate some of the issues that were haunting the FIU defense in previous games.
“The last three games, even though we lost two of them, we had the better play in all three games,” Arena said. “For us it’s just continuing to get better in all areas and continuing to believe in what we’re doing. Hopefully the win’s start coming when we deserve them.”
With FIU’s stellar offense and the much-improved defense, the wins are bound to come. The improved defensive play should result in FIU being able to pull out those close games rather than falling just short.
“The most important thing is to make it to the conference tournament,” Mion said. “We’re going to take it one step at a time, we just got to move forward from there.”
FIU will look to continue their recent success on their two game road trip against Princeton and Penn. However, after those two matches, FIU will embark on a grueling streak of 8 consecutive in-conference games that will make or break their season.
FIU has a chip on their shoulder after not being able to win a single conference game last year.