Ricky Dagand | Staff Writer
The FIU women’s soccer team welcomed two Conference USA teams into home territory this week.
First, the Panther faced off against the number one team in the conference, the UAB Blazers on Thursday, September 22nd.
The first half was a physical chess match between the two teams. Ithaisa Vinoly had a busy half, saving all four shots the Blazers attempted on goal. A gritty first half ended in a deadlock, with both teams commiting 7 fouls each.
The game was paused by yet another rain delay, a freakishly common occurrence for the Panthers this season. Luckily, the clouds cleared up and the match was able to resume.
The second half saw FIU only shoot once at the UAB goal, succumbing to the intense defensive pressure of the Blazers.
Good defense translated to good offense for UAB as FIU found themselves stuck in their own half for the majority of the second half. In the 64th minute of play, UAB finally found the goal they were waiting for, taking a 1-0 lead.
The Panthers fought their way back during the dying minutes of the game, but couldn’t find a way to level the score.
It was an intense game for FIU; despite holding UAB to 4 shots, their lowest this season, and Vinoly’s clutch saves in goal, the result seemed to slip away.
On Sunday, September 25th, The Panthers were back in action to face off against the Roadrunners of UTSA.
In the 22nd minute, UTSA found a way to break through and score. FIU fought their way forward and continued to shoot but to no success.
Vinoly found herself in a tough one vs one situation nearing the end of the first half which ended with her getting a yellow card and FIU conceding a penalty. But no challenge is too much for the Panther keeper as she managed to save the shot. The first half ended 0-1 in favor of the Roadrunners.
UTSA came out hard to make up for the lost opportunity and tested Vinoly three times in the first 10 minutes of the half.
In the 55th minute of the game, freshman Kim Schnider would spot the goalie off her line and score a floater from outside the 18-yard box.
With the score level at 1-1, FIU played hard defense and created quick offense as they kept threatening the UTSA goal.
The game ultimately ended in a 1-1- tie.
Head Coach Jonathan Garbar had this to say after the game.
“Obviously competitively, you’re glad that you get a point. But we’re very disappointed with the performance, we expect more from ourselves,” Gabar said. “One of the things I love about our group is we hold ourselves to a very high standard. We’re just going to make sure we go back and do one of the things we love to do most and that’s analyze and figure out where we can be better.”
FIU will travel to Ruston, Louisiana for a conference showdown versus Louisiana Tech on Sunday, October 2nd.