FIU pulled one of the biggest upsets of the 2007 men's season when it beat SMU, ranked No. 5 in this week's Soccer America Men's Top 25, 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament on
Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala.
The win, only their fourth of the season, was the Golden Panthers' first victory over SMU in 22 years and was revenge for their 6-0 loss to the Mustangs in
last year's conference tournament.
FIU went into the game with a 3-13-2 record but used a stifling defense to shut down SMU after the Mustangs took the lead on Scott Geppert
's seventh goal of the season off an assist from Adrian Chevannes
in the seventh minute.
blitzed SMU, the defending Conference USA champion, with a second-half barrage. Sophomores Juan Guerra
and freshman Steven Jair Cabas
scored for the Golden Panthers.
"We gave up an early goal, but then everybody stepped it
up," said first-year FIU coach Munga Eketebi
. "Defensively we were solid. We didn't give up any penetration. And for a change, we scored goals."
FIU, the No. 7 seed, meets No. 2 seed South Carolina in Friday's semifinals.
No. 6 Marshall upset No. 3 Kentucky, 3-1, and will play the winner of Thursday's game between
top-seed Tulsa and host UAB. Their quarterfinal was postponed because of inclement weather.