FIU Turns The Tide In Crucial Quarter Final

Alex Rivera/Contributing Writer

After two straight losses and four games with a win, FIU started the Conference USA postseason tournament on a roll with a 3-0 victory over South Carolina.

With the regular season behind them, the Panthers were set on changing their ways of the last few games, not having won since October. Last night’s game was different since both teams knew that unlike the last time they played, one of them would be going home at the final whistle. 

The game started with a dominant FIU, controlling the ball and making progress through the field making five shots while South Carolina was only able to make one. It was clear from the beginning of the game that this match would not end the same way the last time these two played each other in the regular season. 

In the last two games for FIU, they were able to create more chances than their opponents but the final score told a different story. If there was one thing that proved to be problematic, it was that FIU was not making the most of the chances they were creating. Getting close to goal doesn’t count, scoring goals does. 

At the start of the second half, the Panthers started playing more aggressively. Within two minutes it paid off, with a goal from Alessandro Campoy, his sixth of the season. FIU didn’t slow, scoring another at 51 minutes thanks to Xavi Olmos sending the ball to the bottom right corner. At this point, this was an FIU squad that start playing with something that hasn’t been seen in some time: confidence. 

After the second goal, FIU continued to move the ball downfield to create more chances to further the lead. At the 75th minute, FIU got their third goal of the game thanks to Andoni Garrogerricaechebarria with an assist from Inigo Sargarduy making the most of a South Carolina keeper moving too far out of the post.

At the end of the game, FIU made 16 shots with 8 shots on goal. A major take away is the turnaround in chances from the first half into the second half. In the first half, the Panthers’ five shots without a goal were dwarfed by their three goals and 11 shots in the second half. 

Another take away is that FIU did not make any substitutions in the first half, only making five total compared to South Carolina who made three substitutions in the first and seven in the second. Overall, FIU was efficient in creating chances and managing playing time, with a bigger picture in mind. 

With their quarterfinal win, FIU moves on to play in their semifinal against Charlotte, another regular-season opponent they were not able to clinch a victory over. 



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