Men’s Soccer Knocks Off #9 Old Dominion at Home

David Drucker/ Staff Writer

If there was ever a right way to snap a two-game losing streak, Florida International University’s men’s soccer team discovered it on Saturday, Oct. 19.

After suffering back-to-back conference losses, the Panthers (8-4-0, 3-2 in Conference USA) handed number nine Old Dominion University their first loss since Aug. 28 in a 2-1 comeback victory. Senior, Daniel Gonzalez, and junior, Patrick Lopez, each scored goals within ten minutes of each other to rally their team from behind.

The first half was uneventful and frustrating for both teams. FIU is rarely as athletically matched as they were on Saturday night and struggled to create space. Junior goalkeeper, Arthur Clapot, bailed out his defense in the first 45 minutes on five quality saves – he totaled eight in the match. The match was still scoreless going into halftime.

The Monarchs scored the first goal of the game. In the 59th minute, redshirt senior, Ivan Militar, found the back of the Panthers’ net on a backwards header to put his team up 1-0.

Jamar Campion-Hinds made an immediate impact when he was substituted in for sophomore, Paul Marie, in the 71st minute. Only a few seconds later, Campion-Hinds found Gonzalez on a cross from the right to the middle of the box. Gonzalez punched in the equalizer to even the score at 1-1.

The assist was Campion-Hinds’ conference-leading eighth of the season. Gonzalez notched his 12th point of the year with the equalizer.

“After the first goal, everybody motivated each and started working harder for each other,” said Campion-Hinds.

Even for FIU’s distributed offense – eleven players have now scored goals for the Panthers this season – Saturday’s game-winner came from an unlikely source. In the 82nd minute, Junior Deshawon Nembhard found Lopez on a pass from the left side, who headed it in to give FIU a 2-1 advantage. Nembhard’s assist was his first point of the season and Lopez’s score was the first of his career.

“It’s kind of a dream come true, especially in a situation like this. I couldn’t be happier, but more important than the goal is the team win,” said Lopez.

Unlike in Birmingham, Alabama against the Blazers, the Panthers played solid defense through the final minutes of the contest to claim the 2-1 victory. FIU allowed Old Dominion 15 shots and nine shots on goal in the match.

The result elevated FIU to 3-2 in C-USA, although they still remain in fifth place and a point behind Old Dominion with the win.

    “It was really nice to get a good feeling back for the team. It gave them encouragement that we can be successful against the best teams,” said Head Coach Scott Calabrese.

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