Carla Mendez | Staff Writer
In a display of dominance, the FIU men’s soccer team triumphed over the USF Bulls, securing a hard-fought 2-1 victory on Friday, Sep. 29, 2023 at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Florida.
Coming into this match, the Panthers held a 4-2-2 record following a 2-1 win over the Memphis Tigers on Sep. 23, 2023.
Leading the way in that game was junior forward Eduardo Mustre, who scored one goal while only taking two shots in the process.
After starting their season 0-3, the Bulls held a 2-5 record coming into this match after a 2-1 loss to the SMU Mustangs on Sep. 22, 2023.
Despite taking nine shots during that match, six of which were on goal, junior midfielder Brian Schaefer scored the only goal of the night and prevented a shutout.
Both teams last met on Nov. 11, 2022, resulting in FIU easily taking a 2-0 win on their home turf. Putting the historic series record close to even, they held a 3-3-2 record against USF historically.
With both teams making an attempt to claim an upper hand and claim the series-tilting win, the match was fierce from start to finish.
Fighting relentlessly, the Panthers collected eight fouls and a yellow card during the first half.
Not affecting them negatively, they continued to play staunch, high energy defense throughout the half, not allowing any goals to the other team.
While FIU played high motor defense, they were unable to find any sort of offensive rhythm following the play of sophomore goalkeeper Alan Horrocks.
Keeping the net protected for the entirety of the first half, Horrocks accumulated five saves while allowing zero goals in the first half and neutralized the opposing offense.
To kick-off the second half, the Panthers came out of the gates ready to attack, with junior defender Edgar Aguilar missing his shot, leading to sophomore midfielder Joao Domingues finding the ball and scoring.
Claiming a 1-0 lead, they didn’t grow complacent with a small lead and looked to keep adding points onto the board.
Merely ten minutes later, junior forward Eduardo Mustre intercepted a straight pass to the keeper to score FIU’s second goal of the night.
Jumping out to a late-game 2-0 lead, the Panthers had built a comfortable margin over the Bulls.
Following an Aguiar foul with less than seven minutes remaining in the game, USF found their first opportunity to score.
Graduate student striker Jalen Anderson converted on the penalty kick, putting the score at 2-1 with a short amount of time remaining.
With tension high, both teams committed multiple fouls in the final minutes and both received a yellow card at the 90-minute mark.
Able to hold off the Bulls, FIU claimed a 2-1 victory following a gritty, drawn-out matchup and improved their record to 5-2-2 this season.
Looking to keep their three-game win streak going, the FIU men’s soccer team will be traveling to Birmingham, Alabama to take on the UAB Blazers on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. at Protective Stadium and the match will be available for streaming on ESPN+.
Follow Carla Mendez on X: @carladfmendez