MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – After a promising 1-0 start to the game, the College of Charleston men’s soccer team (1-1) gave up three straight goals in a 30-minute span which allowed the No. 23 FIU Panthers to prevail 3-1 in the final game of the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Soccer Classic.
• After a touch and go beginning to the game, Cornell Holland got the Cougars on the board in the 28th minute. Avery Ryan lost the ball in the FIU box, but Holland was there to scoop up the loose ball and hammer it home.
• Six minutes before half, FIU answered with a similar goal, with Juan Benedetty losing the ball in the box only for Santiago Patino to grab the loose ball and convert the shot into a goal. Patino would go on to score another goal in the 70th minute, while Benedetty would earn another assist on Jamar Campion-Hinds’ game winner a minute into the second half.
• Eli Dent and Holland led the way in shots for the College with two a piece, but the Panthers as a team tallied 14 to the Cougars’ six.
• Mother nature opted to make an unscheduled appearance both at the beginning and end of the game. Overtime in the previous game combined with lightning delays in the area pushed the game back from a 2:30 p.m. start to a 5:15 p.m. start. Then at the end of the game, torrential downpour ushered in yet-more lightning, causing the game to be called two and a half minutes early.
• The Panthers picked up their first win in school history against the Cougars. Formerly rivals in the TAAC, the Cougars carried a 6-0 record against FIU into the weekend.
“I saw a good first half that was almost dead-even,” head coach Ralph Lundy said. “When FIU scored with a few minutes left in the half, our guys got a little deflated, and then when the second half started, FIU turned it up about two notches and we just didn’t respond. That’s the bottom line, they outplayed us in the second half.”
“Florida International will be among the best teams we play this season,” Lundy said. “There’s no easies out there, and we’ve got to step up to challenges like this. That’s it, there’s no choice, this is not a forgiving schedule.”
The Cougars will be back in action next Saturday night at 7 when they travel to Greenville to take on Furman. The Paladins had the best showing at Patriots Point this weekend, picking up a win over FIU before going on to tie Navy.
“It’ll be a challenge, we know them and they know us,” Lundy said. “We’ve got to go out to their place, and we’ve got to step up to the challenge of Furman.”