Will Duval | Sports Director
The FIU women’s soccer team played their final home game of the regular season and took a 2-1 loss to the LA Tech Bulldogs on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023 at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Florida.
Coming into the match, the Panthers held an 8-3-4 record and were coming off a 3-2 victory over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Oct. 15.
In that match, they had three players each contribute one goal and managed to steal a late game lead to secure a victory.
Vs. Jacksonville State:
Entering their game against the Gamecocks, FIU had tied their previous three matches and struggled to finish off their opponents.
Prior to that stretch, they held a 7-3-1 record and were off to one of the best starts in program history.
As they looked to get their first win in the month of October, the Panthers opened up the game attacking on offense.
Jumping out to an early 1-0 lead, they scored the only points for either team in the first period. Due to the physical play in the match, FIU didn’t allow Jacksonville State to take any shots during the first half.
By the end of the half, both teams combined for a total of 19 fouls, with the Panthers being responsible for 11 of them.
Picking up their tempo towards the end of the game, the score remained 1-0 until the 73:50 mark.
After committing three fouls and a yellow card, the Gamecocks gave FIU the opportunity to score on a penalty kick. Sophomore forward Kim Schneider took the shot and scored, pushing them to a 2-0 lead.
In need of a score before the lead grew unmanageable, sophomore midfielder Carmyn Davis gave Jacksonville State exactly what they needed.
Only five minutes after the Panthers’ score, Davis scored on their goal and cut the lead down to 2-1.
Having claimed momentum, the Gamecocks were not ready to take their foot off the gas, as they would score again within five minutes.
Rallying a two-goal comeback in a ten minute span, they managed to climb back into the game. Despite their efforts, FIU didn’t waste any time to put the game away.
Less than a minute later, sophomore midfielder Barbara Garcia took a shot and scored for the Panthers.
Taking a 3-2 lead late in the game, they managed to hold off the Gamecocks for the remainder of the match and claim victory.
Improving their record to 8-3-4, the win qualified FIU for the Conference USA tournament.
Adding on to their historic season, it will mark the programs first appearance in a decade, last participating in 2013.
Vs. LA Tech:
Before their match against the Panthers, LA Tech held a 4-9-3 record and were coming off a 2-0 victory over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Oct. 15.
That game marked the second time all season that they held an opponent scoreless, as they hadn’t done so since their 1-0 win against McNeese State on Aug. 29.
Over their five games prior, they held a 1-3-1 record and struggled to keep pace with higher scoring teams, allowing a total of seven points in the first four games.
While struggling to score, the Bulldogs have shown the ability to outscore certain opponents, as they scored eight goals in their victory over Nichols State on Sep. 7.
In a similar fashion to their match against the Gamecocks, the Panthers’ meeting with LA Tech had a low-scoring start. Neither team scored a single goal until the second half.
Breaking the scoreless stalemate, sophomore forward Avery Kyle took a shot and gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
While the lead was manageable, FIU would commit two fouls only five minutes later and give them another opportunity to score.
Graduate student Josie Studer converted on a penalty kick and pushed her team into a 2-0 lead.
Making an attempt to close the gap, the Panthers attacked on offense and junior midfielder Nikole Solis found an opportunity to cut down the deficit.
At the 66:39 mark, graduate student Camille Sahirul connected with Solis on a pass, who then scored and cut the score to 2-1.
With all of the game’s scoring in a 15-minute stretch, FIU was unable to rally a comeback and took a 2-1 loss in their final home game of the year.
Dropping to 8-4-4 on the season, the FIU women’s soccer team looks to close out their regular season against the MTSU Blue Raiders.
First-off is set for 8 p.m. at Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Follow Will Duval on X: @WillDuval40