Mens Soccer To Open C-USA Tournament Against South Carolina

Alex Rivera/Contributing Writer

After a grueling regular season, the FIU Panthers find themselves in the Conference USA postseason tournament after nine wins, two losses, and five draws.

The season started strong with two home wins and saw the Panthers win four of their seven intraconference matchups. In the last four games, FIU slowed down from their initial start. In those last four games, FIU went from being at the top of the C-USA standings to finishing the season in third. 

For the regular season, FIU scored 38 goals, took 112 shots on goal, 26 yellow cards, and made 64 saves.  Andrew Booth, Alessandro Campoy, and Caleb Franke lead the team scoring five goals each, accounting for 39 percent of the team’s goals. Daniel Gagliardi, the goalkeeper had 63 recorded saves, facing and losing three penalties. 

The C-USA post-season tournament will take place in Norfolk, Virginia; hosted by Old Dominion which failed to qualify. 

The tournament is structured so the top six teams in the conference qualify, with the top two teams in the regular season getting a bye into the semifinals. 

In the quarterfinals, the bottom four of the six will play strongest playing the weakest, in this case, the 3rd and 4th seed will play the 6th and 5th seed respectively. This year, it means that FIU will play South Carolina and Kentucky will face FAU. 

The Panthers will have a rematch against South Carolina, a rematch of the first loss FIU had this season. It will have been less than two weeks since the two last played one another, ending in a 1-0 win for the Gamecocks. 

Before that match, South Carolina was on the verge of missing the tournament, now they will have to face FIU again, now both teams facing the same fate of elimination should they lose. 

For South Carolina, they have yet to play since their victory against FIU. This means the Gamecocks had more time to rest and more time to prepare mentally for this game.

 On the other side of that, FIU has continued their descent from their last two games, after their plateau of two draws. 

The Panthers look to turn around that trend because their next game can very well be their last game of the season. 

FIU starts the C-USA tournament on Wednesday, November 13th, at Old Dominion University Soccer Complex.

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