MIAMI (September 16, 2012) – The FIU men’s soccer team (5-1-1), gave the UMKC Kangaroos (1-4-2) all they can handle in a 1-1 tie Sunday evening at the FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Fla.
“Today, we started off really well,” Head Coach Kenny Arena said. “I thought we were very unlucky to give up the first goal, which changed things a lot. After the goal, UMKC sat back and looked to counter and we had to just keep pushing. We got the tying goal, which was great. I feel we had a ton of changes to win the game, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.”
The Kangaroos struck first in the 27th minute when Mo Ramahi beat FIU’s keeper Robin Spiegel to the far post to go ahead 1-0. The goal was assisted by David Sarabia.
Spiegel kept it a 1-0 match when he made a point-blank save in the 30th minute off the foot of Zach Balthazar.
After going into the half down a score, the Panthers had an early chance in the second half when Nicolas Rodriguez sent a free kick to Joseph Dawkins, who struck the ball just wide of the net from the left side of the box.
Rodriguez would have his revenge in the 66th minute when he scored the equalizer on a penalty kick after being taken down from behind in the box by a UMKC defender.
The Panthers had a great opportunity to take the lead with 17 minutes left in the match when Lucas Di Croce sent a header to the top of the net that was tipped over the cross bar by a leaping UMKC keeper.
FIU’s greatest opportunity came two minutes later when Colby Burdette was issued a free kick just outside the area. He bent the set piece to the right, around the Kangaroo wall where the UMKC keeper made a fantastic diving stop to his left to push it wide of the net resulting in an FIU corner.
Quentin Albrecht had FIU’s best chance in overtime, when he just missed a game-winner that went off the far post in the 105th minute.
“I’m really happy to see our team fight out a game,” Arena added. “This was a tough game. They [UMKC] are a tough team. They are very competitive and physical. It was really important for our team, at this point in the season, to stand our ground and try to win, but obviously not loose. We just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. I’m proud of them.”
In all, the Panthers out-shot the ‘Roos by a narrow margin, 19-17. FIU put seven shots on goal to UMKC’s five. FIU keeper Spiegel matched a career-high with four saves.
The Panthers will have the week off before returning to action in DeLand, Fla., against the Stetson Hatters on Sept. 22. Match time is set for 6:00 p.m.
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About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports. Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls nearly 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
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