Cats kick off conference play with FIU


Junior goalkeeper Stuart Ford yells at his teammates during the match agains Dartmouth on Friday, September 2, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. The match was tied 1-1. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Arpan Dixit

Coming off a frustrating loss at Furman, the UK men’s soccer team had taken 10 more shots than the Paladins, but was unable to come up with the victory falling 1-0. Here is a preview of the upcoming matchup between the Cats and the FIU Panthers. 

Only giving up two goals all season, junior goalkeeper Stuart Ford has been a force through the first five games of the season. Making key and timely stops has given the Cats something to build on after the departure of All-American Callum Irving. 

The offense, after putting up four goals in the opener, has struggled to find openings and opportunities to build leads. 

Luckily, the defense has held their own with Ford in goal. Look for the Cats to be more aggressive as they try to get out of their offensive struggles and break the game wide open. 

The Panthers have one win and one tie at home and look to stay undefeated in front of their home crowd. 

FIU’s leading goal scorer, sophomore forward Santiago Patino, has five goals on 11 shots this season so he will definitely be a player to keep an eye on. Out of Patino’s 11 shots, eight were shots on goal so Patino’s strength is his scoring ability and accuracy. Look for Patino to take most set pieces as well. 

Senior defender Juan Bendetty leads the team in assists for this season so look for him to create for Patino and the rest of the Panther squad when they clear the ball and head downfield. 

This proves for an exciting conference matchup. After splitting the season series last year, although the Panthers ousted the Cats in the C-USA tournament, Saturday’s game should prove to be an exciting and physical one. 

Game time is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in Miami, Florida at FIU Soccer Stadium.