MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (Oct. 12, 2014) – Two first-half goals weren’t enough to overcome, as the FIU women’s soccer team (6-6-1, 1-2-1) fell to the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 2-0, on Sunday afternoon.
FIU created sound opportunities all game and spent the majority of the game in Middle Tennessee’s defensive third, finishing with a season-high 19 shots. Of those, six were on goal, compared to Middle Tennessee’s four. Despite the heavy shot advantage, the Blue Raiders were able to capitalize on the few chances it was given. Redshirt senior Chelsea Leiva finished with a game and season-high eight shots, while junior Madlen Weinhardt finished with three chances and a team-best two shots on goal.
The Blue Raiders attack was rolling early in the game, but the Panthers’ defense did a strong job combatting any chances Middle Tennessee took. A shot in the fourth minute went off a Panthers’ defender, resulting in a corner. Two shots followed, none of which made it to freshman goalkeeper Nevena Stojakovic, as they were blocked and wide, respectively.
FIU’s offense saw a handful of quality chances beginning in the 20th minute. A shot by redshirt junior Sara Stewart was saved by the Blue Raiders’ Kelsey Brouwer. Leiva followed with a bullet off the cross bar. A corner by Weinhardt found Leiva in the box, with Brouwer again coming up with a save.
Despite a Blue Raiders’ goal from 15 yards out in the 27th minute, the Panthers’ offense continued to test Middle Tennessee. Shots by Leiva (wide), freshman Courtney Phillips (wide), Weinhardt (blocked) and senior Johanna Volz (save) occurred in a five-minute span approaching the 36-minute marker.
Middle Tennessee was able to add on an additional goal two minutes before time expired in the half on a set piece, while redshirt junior Scarlet Montoya landed one final shot six seconds before the end of the first. FIU outshot the Blue Raiders, 11-7, in the first 45 minutes.
With both teams trying to find the upper hand in the opening minutes of the second half, Leiva and Weinhardt continued sending chances towards the net. Leiva missed to the right in the 56th minute, while Brouwer picked up her sixth save off Weinhardt’s ball a minute later. A set piece in the 64th by sophomore Alyssa Robinson found redshirt junior Nikki Rios inside the Blue Raiders’ box, the ball fell high of the net.
Senior Ashleigh Shim sent a shot high in the 73rd minute, moments before Leiva’s shot was blocked and senior Caroline Hernandez’ chance sailed high. One final chance in the 85th minute went wide off Montoya’s foot.
FIU returns home this Friday, facing two of the league’s top squads. First up is Rice with a 7 p.m. start time on Friday, Oct. 17 from the FIU Soccer Stadium.
Fans are encouraged to follow the Panthers on Twitter (@FIUWomensSoccer) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUWSoccer) for all the latest FIU women’s soccer news. Follow all of FIU’s 18 athletic teams on Google+ (FIU Athletics), Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUSports), YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of Conference USA. Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU’s campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including FIU Arena and the FIU Football Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes $9.8 billion each year to the local economy. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. FIU has awarded over 200,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and has over 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.