Women’s soccer ties 1-1 with New Mexico State, collects third tie in a row

Graduate student goalkeeper Ithaisa Vinoly blocking a kick. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Carla Mendez | Staff Writer 

Repeating the results from their previous two games, the FIU women’s soccer team took on the New Mexico States Aggies, which ended with a 1-1 tie on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. 

Coming into this match, the Panthers held a 7-3-3 record and hadn’t won a game since their match against the Sam Houston Bearkats on Sep. 21, 2023.

In their game against the Liberty Flames on Saturday, Oct. 7, neither team was able to score the ball and the game ended in a 0-0 tie. Conservative in their offensive approach, FIU only took two shots on goal out of their 11 taken throughout the match.

Holding down the defense, graduate student goalkeeper Ithaisa Vinoly recorded a clean sheet and collected seven saves during the match. 

Due to her standout performance, Vinoly was named Conference USA Women’s Soccer Goalkeeper of the Week on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The Aggies came into this match on a five-game winning streak, claiming a 2-0 victory over the JSU Gamecocks in their previous game on Sunday, Oct. 8.

Senior forward Loma McNeese collected both of her team’s two goals and largely shouldered the offensive load.

Improving their record to 8-5-1 following the win, New Mexico’s winning streak helped them climb out of a slow 3-5-1 start to their season.

Opening up the game laser focused, the Panthers’ offense was ready to attack from the moment the clock started.

Scoring first and early at the 4-minute mark, sophomore forward Kim Schneider received a pass from redshirt sophomore Hanako Fujii and kicked the ball into the bottom left side of the net.

Collecting an early 1-0 lead, FIU scored their first and only goal of the game, as the remainder of the match was a defensive slugfest.

Fighting back, New Mexico State eventually scored a goal of their own near the 36-minute mark.

Continuing where she left off in her previous game, McNeese’s kick found the back of the net off an assist from junior midfielder Brooke Schultz and senior midfielder Gia Valenti.

Tying the game at 1-1, her score marked the final goal scored for either team in the game. 

Although neither team went on to score during the second half, it marked an increase of intensity and aggression from both teams. 

Searching for her second goal of the match, McNeese lofted the ball skyward in an attempt to catch the goalkeeper off-guard. However, her effort was thwarted by Vinoly, who leaped and punched the ball over the crossbar.

Making a last-ditch attempt to secure a win near the 85-minute mark, junior midfielder Nikole Solis tested freshman goalkeeper Valeria Guha with a shot, which was immediately caught.

With neither team able to put the finishing touches on the game, it ended in a draw following a scoreless second period.

This game marks the third consecutive match that has ended in a draw for FIU. Their season record dropped to 7-3-4 and their conference record fell to 2-0-3 this season.

Despite their recent winless stretch, they still rank first place in goals per game in the CUSA statistical standings.

Snapping the Aggies’ five-game winning streak, the Panthers handed them their first draw in conference play this season.

Protecting the net once again, Vinoly recorded five saves during the match, leading both teams in saves. 

Leading the Panthers’ offense, Schneider logged a total of five shots in the match, two of which on goal, and is tied for second on the team in total goals this season. 

Trying to turn their recent fortune around, the FIU women’s soccer team looks to protect home-turf against the JSU Gamecocks on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. 

First off is set for 11 a.m. at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Florida and the match can be streamed on ESPN+. 

Follow Carla Mendez on X: @carladfmendez

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