Santiago Archieri/ Contributing Writer
The Conference USA women’s soccer tournament will begin at Florida International University on Wednesday, Nov. 4, but the Panthers will not be a part of it.
With the bracket officially released, FIU finished three points shy of a spot in the Conference USA tournament.
FIU had a chance to make the tournament when they took played in their final regular season match on Sunday, as the Panthers hit the road to Charlotte against the 49ers.
Charlotte came into the match winning just one of their previous eight games, and they also looked to end the season on a strong note as it was their final game as well.
For FIU, they looked to end a three game losing streak, but instead were downed 3-1 to end their season with four straight losses. The Panthers were able to score for the first time in the last four games, but their lone goal was not nearly enough.
The first half was packed with action and it all started in the 17th minute when Victoria Febar scored off a cross. The 49ers added pressure to the Panthers in the 36th minute when the lead grew to 2-0 after Rebecca Beatty registered her first goal off the game.
FIU looked to go into the half with some sort of momentum and they were able to do just that in the 37th minute, as they responded with a goal of their own in under two minutes. Lyrik Fryer got the rebound off a corner and found the back of the net. The 49ers headed into the half with a 2-1 lead, while FIU knew they needed a strong second half to keep their season alive.
The Panthers momentum was killed in the second half, as the 49ers parked the bus and milked the clock most of the time. The Panthers had nothing going for them and their season hopes were shattered in the 89th minute after Martha Thomas recorded a goal to make it a 3-1 Charlotte lead and a minute later the season ended for FIU.
Charlotte would wound up ending their season with a final overall record of 7-11-1 and 3-6-1 in conference USA.
FIU ended their regular season 8-11 overall and 4-6 in Conference USA. The Panthers finished three points shy of Western Kentucky, who was able to secure the final spot in the Conference USA bracket. The loss was the Panthers fourth straight of the season and it led to the biggest losing streak of the year too. FIU had a chance to be a sleeper team in Conference USA, but inconsistency would create problems that couldn’t be solved and the Panthers are already looking forward to next season.