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Women's Soccer Wins Sun Belt Semis; some football stuff

40 degrees with a wind chill in the 30s. Raining. And down 1-0 to a good team that was controlling play.

That's the situation FIU's women's soccer team found itself in during the Sun Belt Semifinals against Denver Thursday evening. Yet instead of checking out when the book says Florida-based teams are supposed to do so, they checked in with a game-tying goal by Ashleigh Shim before halftime and two more, from Johanna Volz and Nicole DiPerna, for a 3-1 win that puts them in Saturday afternoon's final against the North Texas-Western Kentucky winner.

A win Saturday and FIU's in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Catherine Liller-Sue Moy Chin 1993 team got into the NCAAs and ran into North Carolina (which, back then, was kind of like running into the Bullettrain).

After Denver took a 1-0 lead, FIU coach Thomas Chestnutt said, "It seemed like we woke up. Our level of determination and pride went up."

Chestnutt called Shim's game-tying goal "probably one of the nicest goals we've scored all season." Chelsea Leiva took a pass from April Perry, then found Shim making "a fantastic weak side run," Chestnutt said.

In that weather, it figures that FIU's Pacific Northwest import, Portland native Volz, would get the game-winner. "Chelsea put another brilliant ball to Johanna. The goalkeeper made a good save, but Johanna finished the play. We talk all the time about constantly finishing the play. That's something we've struggled to do all year."

DiPerna's goal came off a penalty kick awarded for a hand ball in the box. Keeper Kaitlyn Savage made the lead last long enough for FIU's season to extend to Saturday. Denver, which will be leaving the Sun Belt, knocked FIU out of the tournament last season, 1-0.

"Last year against them (Denver) in the second half, it was 10 shots to one and they scored late,"  Chestnutt said. "It made it better that we had to go through them. I told their caoch, I'm disappointed that we're not going to be playing them anymore in the regular season. I think we bring out the best in each other."

FOOTBALL

FIU opened a three-point favorite at Western Kentucky and has stayed there on most boards. Translation: not much money coming down on either side as serious bettors, the hardcore handicappers, really aren't sure about this game. It's a Sun Belt game. Western's at home and is having a season that surprises most. But they've surely seen FIU more, know that the Panthers have harnessed most opposing running backs and also have made or lost a dime on the Panthers' inconsistency.

 

 

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Hey Buc, Mama mela

I predict FIU going to be Miami's team sooner than later..

Well it's "inevitable", right?

All the local Miami fans that hate UM now because they're not competing for national titles are automatically going to support a program that not only doesn't compete for national titles but also has no NFL presence and doesn't play any teams that they've heard of.

I wouldn't be surprised if just next year FIU has 65,000 fans show up for their game against East Louisiana Culinary Institute while UM struggles to find 20,000 to watch them play FSU and Virginia Tech.

And if not next year certainly by the year after that. Or the year after that at the VERY latest. Worst case scenario Florida International will win over the worst college football fanbase in the nation by four years from now.

It is after all, "inevitable".

Hey Buc,

Did you know FIU has REAL trolls in the stands during the games? But they are actually fun, entertaining, and they do it for the lulz.

But hey, you're not that bad yourself, so keep it up, man. Being "OMGWTFBBQ-FIRST!" on every blog post and starting the flame wars you love so much is what makes people come back here. To laugh. At you.

Every pageview you bring to this blog, is one that UM loses. And I'm all for it.

Yes, make the Herald notice the crickets over at the UM blog. Hell, they even added another writer to keep up with demand over here. Must be all the traffic you're bringing in.

So we salute you, Mr. Buc Nasty, for this blog would not be nearly as fun without your "deep philosophical contributions".

I'll be back in 10 minutes and I expect a proper response from you.

Take care.

These comments are hilarious. It isn't that serious but as an FSU and FIU faithful, I have to agree with Buc Nasty's sarcastic wisecrack. lol. The metropolitan of Miami has been spoiled so if FIU were to get into a better conference (highly doubt because of inconsistency) then FIU would explode and fanfare would skyrocket. That's in the distant future, though.

@ Buc Nasty Miami has the worst college football fans period because most UM's student body isn't from Florida and travel elsewhere for their careers, most of South Florida isn't college educated and only connected to UM through football and JMH.

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