FIU women’s soccer falls 2-0 to the FAU Owls on senior night

Junior forward Noemi Paquin pushing the ball upfield. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics. 

Carla Mendez | Staff Writer 

The FIU women’s soccer team couldn’t leave their senior night victorious and fell 2-0 to the FAU Owls on Sunday, Sep. 24, 2023 at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Coming into this match, the Panthers were off to their best start since 2015 and bolstered a 7-2-1 record.

Winning their previous two games, they took an exclamatory 3-0 victory over the Sam Houston Bearkats in their previous match on Sep. 21, 2023.

In an all-out team win, three different Panthers scored the team’s three goals and graduate student goalkeeper Ithaisa Vinoly kept the defense intact, collecting three saves.

Having a slower start to their season, the Owls came into this match with a 4-4-2 record and were 2-3-0 over their previous five games.

Taking a 2-0 win over the Temple Owls in their last game, FAU scored their highest number of goals in a game since Aug. 31, 2023.

Historically, the Owls have held a decade-long advantage over the Panthers, as FIU has been unable to defeat them since Oct. 5, 2013. 

Notably, this match represented the first non-conference encounter between the two teams in ten years, as FAU left Conference USA in the 2023 offseason.  

Prior to the match, special recognition was accorded to the senior players, including goalkeeper Maaike van Klink, defender Maya Cabrera, defender Anna Rockett, midfielder Paige Davis, and midfielder Dominique Marcelli

To kick off the match, both teams played stout defense and remained scoreless for the entire first period. 

Demonstrating discipline, the Panthers only committed one foul as opposed to the Owls’ four fouls. Also pushing the pace, FIU held a 2-0 advantage in shot attempts going into halftime.

It wasn’t until the 62-minute mark when junior midfielder Sofia Voldby broke the deadlock and scored a goal from a corner kick for FAU.

Stealing the first lead of the game, the Owls weren’t ready to slow down and used their newfound momentum to their advantage.

Only seven minutes later, junior defender Delinda Sehlin committed a foul and gave FAU another opportunity to score.

Junior forward Malaya Melancon delivered on a penalty kick and extended the lead to 2-0 with time running out for the Panthers.

Unable to stage a comeback, FIU couldn’t salvage their senior night and took a 2-0 shutout defeat at the hands of the Owls.

This win marked the eleventh time in the program’s history that FAU kept the Panthers scoreless. 

Dropping to 7-3-1 on the season, FIU couldn’t find any offense despite having back-to-back victories in their prior games.

Looking to get back on track, the FIU women’s soccer team is taking on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Friday, Sep. 29, 2023 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex and the game can be streamed on ESPN+.

Follow Carla Mendez on X: @carladfmendez

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