Junior forward bright spot in dull season

So far this season the women’s soccer team has been a lot of things. Confused, disappointing and injured, hopeless however is not necessarily one of those things.

Junior forward Ashleigh Shim has been a bright spot for this Panther team. She leads the team with three goals, which accounts for 38 percent of the total goals scored for FIU.

During the 2012 campaign Shim only scored two goals all season, as opposed to her three through nine games this season.  Coming into her own offensively, any chance on somewhat salvaging this season is on her.

The Panthers are 2-0 when Shim scores a goal and 0-7 when she doesn’t. While nine games is a small sample size, its indicative how Shim commands the game. It’s simple, if she has a big impact they win, if not they lose.

Shim’s athleticism is something that jumps out when you see her. She is very quick and has polished ball handling skills. She is one of the quickest, if not the quickest on the FIU women’s soccer team.

She self creates off her dribble and has the ability to split defenders using her speed and ball handling.

A young defense however doesn’t help Shim very much, five players on the Panther defense are underclassmen including a red shirt freshman.  The defense has given up 22 goals through nine games, which is nearly allowing two and half goals a game.

With a defense learning as they go it’s up to a more veteran offense to lift this Panther team afloat. All five seniors on the team are with midfielders or forwards contributing to the offense.

As a junior Shim’s experience and leadership is needed on this offense, however she can’t do it alone. Passes need to be clean and accurate. Something that is haunting this team is not delivering on target passes.

Too often are passes too long or too short killing offensive flow. When a pass is off target and a player has to adjust too much to receive it gives defenses time to swarm onto the ball and the attack the ball handler.

Bad passes and all, Shim has been the most consistent offensive force for the Panthers. She has taken 19 shots, leading the team, and has eight shots on goals.

Shim shines brightest on a Panther team with not much to brag about. Despite a 2-7 record she has played very well and has given the Panther opportunities to score.

As we look towards FIU’s conference USA schedule it’s going to fall on Shim to bring life back to this team. To provide hope to the nearly hopeless Panthers.

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