FIU defeats #19 Michigan in season opener

With football season getting ready to begin as Bethune-Cookman makes their way down to Miami, not much attention has been given to the other “futbol” team on campus.

That may have to change after the men’s soccer team defeated No. 19 University of Michigan, 1-0, in their season opener, Friday.

The lone goal of the match was scored by redshirt-freshman midfielder Donald Tomlinson, marking his first career goal in his first ever official start for FIU. After a scoreless first half, Tomlinson was able to capitalize a run in transition, finding the back of the net in the 67th minute of the game.

After the goal, the Panthers pushed back and defended their lives away until the official blew the final whistle securing them their first win of the season on their first opportunity.

The win Friday afternoon in Ann Arbor, Mi, means a lot to this Panther team who struggled mightily last season. Not only do they start off their season strong with a win against a nationally ranked opponent, it is also the first career win for Head Coach Scott Calabrese as the top man at FIU.

Calabrese, the sixth head coach in FIU men’s soccer history, seems to have made the right choice by leaving East Tennessee State for this Panther squad which after one game, looks to have a very promising season ahead of them. He gives the university their second ever win in men’s soccer against the Wolverines, giving the Panthers the upper hand in the schools’ series history, 2-1.

Before Friday’s match, Michigan, who was returning eight starters from their 2013 squad, was 11-3 all-time in season openers, including a 2-0 mark in the Chaka Daley era, their current head coach. The last time the Wolverines opened their season at home with a loss was back in 2011 when they fell 2-1 to Butler.

Next up for coach Calabrese and the Panthers is another big test in the state of Michigan. The team will travel from Ann Arbor to East Lansing for a matchup against the Michigan State Spartans.

The Spartans have been ranked as high as eighth in the nation by and have been chosen as one of the favorites to come away with the Big Ten men’s soccer title. The game between the Spartans and the Panthers will be played on Sunday at noon. After, the team will return to Miami for their season home opener where they will host Stetson, Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

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