What you need to know:
*No. 1 Georgia State takes on No. 4 Coastal Carolina in the SBC Tournament Semifinals Friday
*GSU defeated the Chanticleers 4-3 in the regular season
*Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. Friday at Floyd E. Morris Field in Savannah, Ga.
STATESBORO, Ga. – Top-seeded Georgia State men’s soccer opens the 2018 Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a semifinal matchup against two-time defending champion and four-seed Coastal Carolina Friday afternoon, a rematch of the 2017 SBC Tournament championship.
GSU (9-6-2, 2-0-2 Sun Belt) captured its first ever Sun Belt regular season title after finishing unbeaten in conference play for the first time since 1989. The Panthers possess one of the best back lines in the conference, as the team ranks second in the league with a 1.15 goals against average. Sun Belt Coach of the Year Brett Surrency will look to lead his squad to its first conference tournament championship since Georgia State won the Trans America Athletic Conference (now ASUN Conference) in 2000.
The Panthers earned a league-high nine postseason all-conference honors, headlined by four first-teamers in Aris Briggs, Kyle Clinton, Max Hemmings and Paul Tyson. Clinton, a 2018 Mac Hermann Trophy candidate, was named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Also receiving recognition for Georgia State was Logan Luque, who collected Freshman of the Year honors.
Coastal Carolina (10-5-0, 2-2-0 Sun Belt) knocked off five-seed Howard 2-1 in Thursday’s quarterfinal, getting both its goals in the second half after falling behind 1-0 in the 12th minute. The Chanticleers lead the league with 29 goals in 15 matches, getting 13 from Sun Belt Co-Offensive Player of the Year Yazeed Matthews. CCU competed in the quarterfinal round for the first time since joining the conference in 2016 and will aim to make it three straight Sun Belt Tournament titles.
In the last outing between the two teams, Georgia State won a 4-3 thriller that featured four first-half goals from the Panthers. Coastal Carolina fought back with three unanswered goals in the second but was unable to complete the comeback on GSU’s senior day, giving GSU its first win over the Chanticleers since 1981. Hemmings scored two goals and added an assist in the win, tied for the most points in a single conference match among all Sun Belt players this year.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Floyd E. Morris Field in Savannah, Ga., after impending weather in Statesboro deemed Eagle Field unplayable. Both semifinal matches are set to be played at their original start times with live coverage on YouTube. Live stats will be available on SunBeltSports.org.
Follow along with Georgia State on Twitter (@GSUMensSoccer) for the latest news and updates.
2018 Men's Soccer Championship Schedule
Thursday, November 8 (Quarterfinals)
Match 1 - #4 Coastal Carolina 2, #5 Howard 1
Friday, November 9 (Semifinals)
Match 2 – 4 p.m. – #1 Georgia State vs. #4 Coastal Carolina
Match 3 – 7 p.m. – #2 Georgia Southern vs. #3 Appalachian State
Sunday, November 11 (Championship Match)
Match 4 - 1 p.m. – Winner of Match 2 vs. Winner of Match 3
All matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+