FIU falls on the road to Duke, 1-0, in the NCAA men’s soccer tournament

Michael Berlfein/FIU athletics

For the second year in a row, FIU’s men’s soccer season was ended by an ACC opponent.

Seventh-seeded Duke defeated 10th-seeded FIU, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon in Durham, North Carolina.

The host Blue Devils (13-1-4) got a goal from Scotty Taylor in the 42nd minute to doom FIU. Set up by a corner kick to the far post, Taylor scored on a heel flick just before halftime.

“We’re disappointed not to get the result (against Duke),” FIU coach Kyle Russell said in a post-game text sent to The Herald. “We created enough chances. We outshot Duke and had more corner kicks, but we couldn’t find the back of the net.”

FIU (14-5-1) would have hosted an NCAA tournament quarterfinal game had it gotten past Duke.

Last season, FIU’s season ended with a 3-2 home loss to Wake Forest in the NCAA tournament’s second round.

Going back further, FIU’s 2017 season was ended in the NCAA Tournament’s second round with a 2-1 loss to Duke.

On Sunday, FIU outshot Duke 14-10. In the 19th minute, the Panthers had three shots inside the Duke penalty area. But Blue Devils defenders blocked all three.

The Panthers’ best chance at a goal came in the 87th minute on Julian Hodek’s powerful shot to the far post, but the shot was saved by Duke goalie Eliot Hamill.

“Fair play to FIU — they gave us a hard game,” Duke coach John Kerr said on the Blue Devils’ website. “In the second half, FIU really picked it up.”

FIU’s season ended with its most wins since 2003. The Panthers also won the American Athletic Conference’s regular season and postseason championships.

The Panthers are 30-13-4 in two years under coach Kyle Russell.

“Our guys gave everything this whole season and have set the standard for the players coming back next year,” Russell said. “We have accomplished a lot together in a short period of time.

“The future is very bright for FIU men’s soccer.”