Panthers look to break road slump

Santiago Archieri//Contributing Writer

The FIU women’s soccer team is hitting the road this weekend as they try to build on their two game winning streak.

The action will kick off at 6 p.m. in Bowling Green, Ky. The Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers are getting ready to welcome FIU for a mid-season Conference USA matchup.

FIU is coming off a weekend in which the defense provided two clean sheets. The 1-0 win against the University of Southern Mississippi and 2-0 win over Louisiana Tech University helped the Panthers climb to a 4-2 conference record.

“Defensively, we were happy to get back on the right pace of not conceding this past weekend,” said FIU women’s soccer Head Coach Thomas Chestnutt.

The Panthers have kept their winning ways at home, as they have won their last four games at the FIU Soccer Stadium. These have all been conference wins, and has improved to a 7-2 overall home record.

However, there is an important road bump coming up for FIU. Chestnutt has his team focused on their next challenge.

“We have to focus on Western Kentucky,” said Chestnutt. “They’re a tough defensive team and can definitely score goals as well. We have a mentality of looking at the next game, and the next game is all that is on our mind.”

The Panthers last road trip was disastrous after allowing four goals to Rice and getting shut out by North Texas. The Panthers loss dropped to a .500 conference record. FIU also dropped to 1-5 on the road after their last time out, but there seems to be no concern moving forward.

“We have three out of our four next games on the road,” Chestnutt said. “It’s not a concern, it’s a circumstance. We’ll be fine, it’s an anomaly. We haven’t traveled a lot this year, and we are just getting back to the rhythm of traveling early. For us it’s how can we be better than our last time out, and the last time on the road we had a tough time.”

Western Kentucky is also looking to bounce back after a winless weekend, and to climb up in the C-USA standings. The Hilltoppers are 6-4-4 overall, and an even 2-2-2 in conference play. They got blanked out by Middle Tennessee and tied with UAB in their recent road trip.

Both teams are looking to carry momentum from players that are stepping up for the first time in the season. For the Hilltoppers, freshman Megan Morris tied up the game with UAB in the second half. This was Morris’ first goal of the season and her career.

FIU scored two goals from Talia McMurtrie that would break the tie in both games this past weekend. Both goals were McMurtrie’s first goals of the season.

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