Sources at Camp Mitch say Haines City linebacker Josh Glanton verbally committed to FIU Tuesday night, though he hasn't made an official visit to FIU. Glanton, 6-2, 210, could be used as an outside linebacker/defensive end, but also middle linebacker.
Despite Dieugot Joseph's Tweets that have all but declared he's coming to FIU, the 6-6 defensive end out of Orlando Freedom High hasn't made an official verbal commitment yet.
First half goals by Kim Lopez and April Perry moved FIU past Arkansas State 2-0 in the first game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament Wednesday at Middle Tennessee State.
"We did well taking advantage of our first half chances, disrupting their play, then sealed them off and got the win," coach Thomas Chestnutt said. "What we stressed to the team -- it's tournament time. You just have to find a way to get results. It doesn't matter how ugly it is, it doesn't matter how pretty it is."
That's because FIU's only chance of making the NCAA tournament lay in winning the Sun Belt tournament. FIU now plays Denver tomorrow at 5 p.m. Before Denver beat South Alabama Wednesday afternoon, I asked Chestnutt about Denver, which has both the Sun Belt Player of the Year Kristen Hamilton and a 1-0 loss at FIU this season.
"They're a possesison-oriented team. When we played them at our place, I think we had slightly more possession -- 52-48, 51-49," Chestnutt said. "We generally outpossess other teams. It's two teams who are philosophically somewhat similar. We feel like we match up well with them."
Chestnutt did have two minor beefs. He didn't like that North Texas, the Sun Belt regular season champion by a half game over FIU, didn't have to make up a rained-out match with South Alabama. A North Texas loss or tie would've given FIU the regular season title.
That only came up as he answered me about the lack of FIU players on the All-Sun Belt First Team, especially compared to Denver (4), North Texas (3) and Western Kentucky (3). FIU? 1, defender April Perry.
"Certainly, we look around the conference and say, "You know what? We have some good players,'" Chestnutt said. "We don't produce big time numbers in stats. The way we play, it's rare that you're going to have big time numbers in goals.
Also, he said, the Panthers tough non-conference schedule doesn't allow them to pump up their stats by pumping in a bunch of goals on demonstrably weaker opponents.
"But I think the (other schools') players who recevied votes certainly are quality players and deserving as well."
SWIMMING & DIVING
Junior freestyle swinner Mariangela Macchiavello, a Peruvian native out of Bradenton Prep, helped set two Peruvian records at the Pan-American Games as a member of both the 400 and 800 Meter Freestyle Relay teams. In the 4:00.06 400 Free Relay, she swam a 58.8 split. She had 2:11.00 of the 8:35.50 800 Free Relay.
Wish the Scorpio swimmer a happy birthday if you run into her Sunday.