DELAND, Fla. - The Stetson men's soccer team (1-4-0) scored first, but was undone late, falling to Florida International (6-1-1) by a score of 2-1 in overtime on Saturday night. Junior Evan Jimmo scored the lone goal for the Hatters, his first of the season.
Stetson was on the offensive early, forcing FIU goalkeeper Robin Spiegel to make a save within the first few minutes of play on Jimmo's first attempt towards net. Senior Jonathan Mendoza then made a valiant effort on goal in the 11th minute, playing a big touch towards the middle of the field and striking the ball over Spiegel from about 30 yards out. Unfortunately for the Hatters, it connected with the cross bar.
Jimmo finally opened the scoring with just 13 minutes to play in the half, finishing on a left-footed strike on one touch. The junior forward was fed a pass around the six yard line from sophomore JJ Lofthouse-Smith, who received a ball and carried it to the end line before playing it back to Jimmo for the score.
The Hatters finished the half with an eight-to-six shot advantage, and three corner kicks to FIU's two. Goalkeeper Andreas Schnabl didn't have to make a single save in the frame, as the Stetson defense was tight against the Panther attack.
The momentum began to change hands as the second half started. FIU recorded a couple of quality chances early, including a one-v-one with Schnabl that the goalkeeper had to force wide by charging at the Panther, and a clearly open net that was shot well over the goal by a wide open FIU forward.
The Hatters weren't without their opportunities in the second half though. Mendoza and senior Kai Eckenrode played a picture perfect give-and-go down the left side of the field, before the former played a ball back into the box for Stetson to capitalize on. The pass rolled through both squads and was eventually cleared by the Panthers.
FIU tied the game with a score in the 60th minute of play. Colby Burdette and Icaro DeOliveira put a couple of passes together before finding Gonzalo Frechilla towards the right side of the box. The Florida International junior ripped a shot straight into the near upper 90, not giving Schnabl a chance at the save.
The two teams fought back and forth throughout the rest of the half, with Stetson's best chance coming off the foot of Eckenrode. After receiving a ball at the top of the box, the forward turned on a dime and fired a low shot aimed right towards the corner of the net. Spiegel was able to just tip it out of play.
Another 13 minutes later and the game went to extra time in DeLand. With under two minutes remaining in the first 10 minute overtime period, FIU handed Stetson its first home loss of the season, as Lyle Lindquist stole the ball from the Hatters and played a long ball up to Burdette at midfield. The sophomore carried it all the way to net, beating Schnabl and giving his Panthers a 2-1 victory.
And evenly played match throughout, Stetson outshot FIU by a mark of 13-12. The Hatters finished with just the three corners, while the Panthers added four in the second half for a total of six. Schnabl tallied just one save the loss, and Spiegel totaled five in the victory.
Stetson will return to action on Wednesday, September 26, as the Hatters will play host to Florida Atlantic at 7:00 p.m.Coach Fleck Interview
Evan Jimmo Interview