The nightmare start to the season continued for FIU men’s soccer on Friday night. The FIU Panthers dropped their home opener to the Stetson Hatters 3-2.
In 2017, FIU men’s soccer had one of its most successful seasons since its run to the College Cup final in 1996. During his first season at the helm, head coach Kevin Nylen guided the Panthers to a long unbeaten streak at the start of the season, capped off with an NCAA Tournament appearance and victory before being eliminated at the hands of Duke in the second round.
In 2018, some seniors have departed, but a significant part of that team returns with even higher expectations.
It has been a season of consequence for the FIU men’s soccer team. A two-time champion at the Division II level and a national runner-up in Division I in 1996, the program does know success. However, not since the mid-1990s has FIU reached the heights it’s reaching in 2017.
Earlier this week, the program was ranked No. 8 in the NCAA’s latest United Soccer Coaches top 25 poll. It is the highest raking for the program since the conclusion of the 1996 season. The team didn’t rest on its laurels, taking the field and defeating conference rival Old Dominion 3-1 to remain unbeaten on the season.
Fresh off a last-second double-overtime victory over Florida Gulf Coast University, FIU men’s soccer was named the NCAA Soccer Men’s Team of the Week on Thursday.