MIAMI, Florida (KVIA) --The UTEP soccer program lost 3-1 to FIU Sunday afternoon in a game that featured a long delay due to a lightning storm in the area. Sheyliene Patolo scored the lone goal of the match for the Miners (1-8-1, 0-1-0 CUSA).
UTEP had three shots on the night, and keeper Tionna Taylor made two saves. Noemi Paquin led the way for the Panthers (6-2-0, 1-0-0 CUSA) with two goals and Camille Sahirul netted the third.
“Despite a day filled with adversity, from kicking off in the early time slot, weather delays, and even ref changes, we have to find it within ourselves to manage and control the game more efficiently,” Head Coach Gibbs Keeton said. “We are happy that our team traveled well and got on the board early with a good individual effort from Shey. The goal was well earned, and we definitely let a few opportunities get away.”
The Orange and Blue nearly had a chance just three minutes into the first half. A weird bounce saw Nicole Morales in on a breakaway, but a heavy touch allowed FIU keeper Ithaisa Vinoly to scoop it up. The Miner defense successfully cleared away a corner kick in the sixth minute. Three minutes later, a Taya Lopez foul gave the Panthers a free kick, but the shot from Paquin sailed over the bar. FIU was awarded another free kick in the 14th minute from a Patolo foul near the half line, but the kick flew safely to Taylor in the box.
In the 18th minute UTEP won its first corner of the match, with Mina Rodriguez playing it low to the front post, but it rebounded out for another corner. The second effort was also a low one, but this ball bounced back out to Patolo. She cut in toward the top of the box and hit a stunning shot to the opposite top corner over Vinoly’s gloves to give the Miners the lead (1-0) in the 20th minute.
UTEP successfully defended three free kicks and a corner from the Panthers between the 22nd and 29th minutes. The home side found the equalizer in the 31st minute from Paquin, whose shot bounced in off the post. FIU would have two more shots before the half, but both were unsuccessful, and the score was tied at the half.
Both teams came out with a spark in the second period. Rodriguez had the first shot of the half in the 51st minute, but it missed the target. In the 54th minute, a corner for FIU was smothered by Taylor. Patolo wound up with a great chance off Taylor’s punt, forcing Vinoly into a diving save. The Panthers broke the tie in the 57th minute from Paquin’s second goal of the night. Immediately following the goal, the game was interrupted by a lightning delay.
Following the near three-hour delay, both teams struggled to get moving again offensively. UTEP successfully defended a corner in the 87th minute and two shots in quick succession in the 89th minute, but FIU was able to find a last-ditch insurance goal from Sahirul with 45 seconds remaining in the match to seal the win 3-1.
The Miners return home Thursday (Sept. 21) when they host NM State in the 13th edition of the Battle of I-10.