FIU men’s soccer surrenders early lead, fall 2-0 to Akron

Senior midfielder Julian Hodek rallying the team. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Carla Mendez | Staff Writer 

The FIU men’s soccer team surrendered an early lead and fell 2-0 to the Akron Zips on Monday, Sep. 11, 2023 at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Akron, Ohio.

Coming into this game, the Panthers held a 2-1-2 record and struggled to finish off their opponents.

In the three games prior to this matchup, FIU recorded two ties and one loss, scoring only three total goals while allowing four goals defensively.

Starting their season on a tear, Akron bolstered a 4-0-1 record and was ranked fifth in the NCAA coming into this game.

When the Panthers and Zips last squared off, it was a high scoring matchup, ending with Akron collecting a 5-3 victory on Aug. 25, 2022.

Catching FIU by surprise, the Zips came out of the gates aggressively, with junior forward Jason Shokalook scoring only three minutes into the game.

After collecting an early 1-0 lead, Akron kept their foot on the gas pedal and continued their high energy play.

Six minutes later, Shokalook secured his second goal of the game off of an assist from senior midfielder Johnny Fitzgerald.

Opening up a 2-0 lead, the Zips held off the Panthers for the remainder of the game, as FIU couldn’t find a rhythm on offense.

Despite FIU taking 14 shots, ten of which coming in the first half, their efforts were fruitless as none of them resulted in points.

Playing a sloppy game, the Panthers committed 19 fouls, collected four yellow cards and one red card.

Collecting FIU’s first red card of the season, graduate student midfielder Francesco Renzi got ejected from the game with less than a minute and a half remaining.

Taking a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Zips, the Panthers record drops to 2-2-2 for the season and are winless over their last four games.

Looking to get back on track, the FIU men’s soccer team is celebrating alumni night, taking on the Temple Owls on Saturday, Sep. 16, 2023 at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm and will be available for streaming on ESPN+. 

Follow Carla Mendez on X: @carladfmendez

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