FIU Women’s soccer by the numbers

The early season for the women’s soccer team has not been a walk in park, or on the field.

The Panthers are drowning this season in their own shortcomings.

They have a 4-8-0 record and are close to last in nearly every statistical category in Conference-USA.

To name a few, the Panthers are second to last in shots per game with 11.09, second to last in goals scored with 1.09 and my personal favorite, dead last in the conference for goals allowed with 2.27.

To maybe put these stats into perspective for you here are the statistical leaders in each of the categories I previously mentioned. The University of  Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles leads the conference with 18.38 shots per game, the Golden Eagles also lead C-USA with 2.97 goals per game and Tulsa allows only half a goal a game.

I know what you’re probably thinking. Why aren’t we Golden Eagles fans, right? Well, on the bright side junior forward Ashleigh Shim is ranked in goals scored with four and is two goals removed from second place, where she is currently ranked 10th in the conference.

The only other Panther that is ranked in a statistical category is redshirt junior goalkeeper Paula Zuluaga. She is first in the conference in saves per game with six. Unfortunately for Zuluaga she is a talented player on a defense which is last in its conference in goals allowed.

Aside from being last in the conference in goals allowed, the most concerning stat for this Panther team is the shots per game.  When you have a defense that is very young like the one FIU fields, you need to put more emphasis on your offense.  Tilt the math in your favor by being more aggressive in order to protect your defense.

When you know you have the worst defense in your conference you cannot be conservative with your offense as FIU has done. You need to take advantage of the talent you have in Shim and be more aggressive in looking for shots.

We see a correlation in shots taken per game and goals scored, by looking at the Golden Eagles team. They lead C-USA in both fields. It’s simple really. Shoot more, score more.

Obviously there are consequences with a more aggressive offense; you leave your team venerable for counter attack leaving your defense fighting transition offense.

While true, how much worse can the worst defense in the conference get?  You have a goalkeeper in Zuluaga who makes correct reads and is capable of making saves and you have a player in Shim who can score with the best in the conference.

With an offense designed to get shots we might be talking about Shim as the second leading goal scorer in all of C-USA.

Clearly this FIU team has had struggles this season and is looking to get on the right track for this season and others to come. A change in system and philosophy might be something to give this team life.

To do a job correctly you cannot have fear of losing. You need to play to win. Do all it takes to find a system to tilt math in your favor. Do something, don’t do nothing. For the sake of the FIU’s inaugural C-USA women’s soccer season, I hope they do something.

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