The men’s soccer team lost their second straight at home, this time to undefeated and 11th-ranked FIU, by the score of 2-1.
The Bulls (6-5-1) got on the score sheet with a Bradley Farias penalty in 75th minute, but couldn’t complete the comeback from 2-0 down. FIU (9-0-3) took the lead in the 22nd minute when Panther Joris Ahlinvi found himself in open space. His shot curled around a diving Harrison Devenish-Mears and off the inside of the post. It was a perfect shot, the only place that would have beaten Devenish-Mears on that play.
USF’s Josue Monge nearly answered with his own screamer from 25 yards out. His knuckle ball rattled the crossbar, rocketed off the line, and out for FIU keeper Hugo Fauroux to collect. It was one of the few times that Fauroux was beaten on the night, despite 12 shots by USF (FIU also tallied 12 on the night).
FIU added a second in the 63rd minute, leaving the Bulls deep in a hole. As FIU began to dig in, the situation began to feel horribly familiar to the previous game vs UConn. However, the Bulls were determined to not get shut out this time and mounted more and more offense. Eventually, Trey Jackson was taken down in the box, allowing Bradley Farias to score the only goal for the Bulls.
For the last 15 minutes, Bulls fans and players would express frustration at referee Ted Unkle’s management of the clock in the face of several FIU delay tactics, at one point allowing Fauroux to shave 15 seconds while holding the ball. However, the Bulls had their offensive chances and just couldn’t quite find the net. The game was much more evenly matched, and there were no defensive breakdowns like there were vs UConn. On Tuesday night, the Bulls were simply beaten by a top-class finish from Ahlinvi.
Men’s soccer, 3-1-0 in conference play, hits the road this Saturday at Memphis before returning home to face Bob Butehorn’s former FGCU Eagles on Tuesday, October 24.