Albrecht’s Chilena defeats SDSU

Senior forward, Quentin Albrecht, put the team on his back Friday evening Sept. 19, scoring two goals in the Panthers’ come from behind win over No. 25 San Diego State University Aztecs.

Albrecht’s second goal was an incredible game winner chilena, or bicycle kick, in extra time to secure the 2-1 comeback win for the Panthers.

“I didn’t even think about it. It was over time, and I just tried to get the ball. I felt that I hit it good, but didn’t even see the ball go in; I just saw everyone celebrating” said Albrecht.

His game winner, which came in a tremendously exciting fashion, was a fabulous finish pulling off what is arguably the best play in soccer, the bicycle kick, and securing a come from behind win for the Panthers, who desperately needed it.

The win for the University pushes their record to 2-3-1 as they avoid losing back-to-back games for the second time this season. SDSU, who came into Miami riding a five-game winning streak, lost only for the second time this season, dropping their record to 5-2.

Before being sent into extra time, the first 83 minutes of the game were anything but golden for Head Coach Scott Calabrese and the Panthers, who found themselves in a 1-0 hole after the Aztecs struck in the 39th minute.

Freshman forward David Olsen capitalized on a sloppy play and miscommunication between the Panthers back line and the goalkeeper, created an easy finish for the first goal of the evening putting the Aztecs on top. Once again, the Panthers found themselves down early in a hole at home.

As the Aztecs controlled the first half and Olsen gave them the lead heading into halftime, the Panthers once again found themselves down early in a hole at home. Despite the deficit, Panthers did not fail to create their chances as they outshot their opposition 25-14 with 11 total shots on target.

In the second half, the University continued pressuring the Aztec defenders, desperately seeking an equalizer. The Panthers missed several easy chances including three one on one plays with the San Diego State goalkeeper. Albrecht himself missed two chances in front of the goal that should have gone in but were sent just wide of the mark.

“It’s actually very tough when you miss easy chances like we did. You have to stay confident and forget about those chances. It’s never easy but we outplayed them tonight. We had so many chances, the whole team was fighting through and eventually, in soccer, you get lucky,” said an overjoyed Albrecht after the game when asked about how difficult it is to stay focused as a group when early on goal shots were just not coming.

It was indeed Albrecht who won the game, but it was also Albrecht that scored the equalizer in the 84th minute of the match giving the Panthers their chance to win it in extra time. Senior midfielder Roberto Alterio dribbled the ball down the right flank past the Aztec defenders and centered a beautiful cross right at the penalty mark connecting with the German native, who was flying in uncovered. Albrecht headed the ball into the bottom right corner leaving Aztec freshman goalkeeper Adam Allmaras with no chance.

After the equalizing goal, the games momentum shifted completely towards the Panthers for the final six minutes and for the extra time which ensued. The Aztecs did get a shot off early in overtime, however redshirt freshman keeper, David Mitchell, was there for the save.

Minutes into overtime, a cross was delivered once again into the box and once again came Albrecht to make contact with the ball. Only this time, it was his chance to make this goal, his third of the season, something special.

The game winner had the 479 fans in attendance in shock, as the majority of the stands erupted with chants of “FIU” as the team celebrated around their captain and the man of the match.

“It was a phenomenal goal. I knew it was coming” said defender Sean McFarlane about Albrechts unbelievable game winner. The Senior continued, “I had confidence in Quentin and Quentin also had confidence in himself. He had a little struggle earlier where he kind of had a little fumble with a one-on-one with the keeper but we just took him to the side and told him, hey c’mon man, pick it up, we believe in you.”

Believe they did, and it payed off as the Panthers finally got their first home win of the season and the first home win for Calabrese in his first season as coach after their tough loss to Stetson a few weeks ago.

“I think the win shows the character of this group to be able to fight back and I agree it’s a great thing, it’s a 90 minute game, and sometimes a little more,” said Calabrese.

He seemed much more calm after his first home victory then he did in the previous 109 minutes of the game as he watched his team come from behind for the first time this season.

“Luckily, its the score at the end of the game that matters,” Calabrese said.

This is, without a doubt, the best win of the season for Calabrese and his team in a roller coaster of a ride game. The Panthers will look to keep this momentum going as they will play game two of their three game homestand Wednesday, Sept. 24 against Florida Gulf Coast University at 7:30 p.m.

After their matchup against FGCU, the Panthers will finish off their home stand against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, beginning their Conference-USA play.

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