FIU women’s soccer held scoreless, fall 1-0 to FGCU

Sophomore midfielder Catherine Rapp on offense. Photo courtesy of Carla Mendez | PantherNOW.

Will Duval | Sports Director

The FIU women’s soccer team couldn’t score in a highly contested match, falling 1-0 to the FGCU Eagles on Sunday, Sep. 10, 2023 at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Coming off a 1-0 victory against the Miami Hurricanes, the Panthers entered the match holding a 5-1-1 record.

In a highly contested contest, junior midfielder Nikole Solis scored on a penalty kick with less than three minutes remaining in the game, allowing FIU to collect their fifth win of the season.

Having a slower start to their season, the Eagles came into this matchup holding a 2-3-1 record following back-to-back losses.

FGCU has struggled on both ends of the field, allowing six goals over their last three games, only scoring once during that span.

To start the game, both the Panthers and Eagles struggled to find offensive momentum, with both teams’ goalkeepers preventing any chance of scoring.

Graduate student goalkeeper Ithaisa Vinoly was the anchor of FIU’s defense, making four saves during the first period.

Despite the gap in collegiate experience when compared to Vinoly, freshman goalkeeper Olivia Molina matched her output, collecting four saves for FGCU.

Due to the stout defense of the Panthers’ and Eagles’, the first period ended with the score remaining at a 0-0 stalemate.

Beginning the second half, FIU looked to play aggressive, attempting two shots in the first eight minutes. 

Ultimately, the Panthers’ aggression was fruitless, with Molina blocking both shots and preventing any chance for them to take the lead.

Following FIU’s thwarted attack, FGCU found an opportunity to score 12 minutes later.

Initially, Vinoly blocked a shot from sophomore forward Kendal Gargiula, but only seven seconds later sophomore midfielder Erika Zschuppe found the ball and scored.

Surrendering their first goal of the game, the Panthers’ found themselves in a 1-0 deficit with little time remaining.

Attempting to salvage the game, FIU took three shots within the last 12 minutes of the game. 

Stopping the Panthers, Molina blocked two of their three shots and helped the Eagles claim a 1-0 victory.

Falling to FGCU in a defensive match, FIU’s record now sits at 5-2-1 this season.

Statistically, both teams played very similar games, as both took nine shots and recorded eight saves.

Over the past three games, the Panthers have struggled to score relative to their first three games.

As they started their season 3-0, FIU scored 17 goals in their first three matches, compared to three points over their past three matches.

Looking to get back on track, the FIU women’s soccer team takes on the UTEP Miners on Sunday, Sep. 17, 2023 at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Kickoff is set for 11:00 a.m. and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

Follow Will Duval on X: @WillDuval40

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