In a tough and hard-fought match, Georgia State prevailed over in-state rival Mercer, 1-0, on Friday in Panthersville.

Redshirt junior Jordan Young didn’t take long to get Georgia State on the board. Just nine minutes into the game, sophomore Whitney Ravan crossed a shot towards Young, who was able to send it to the top of the right corner of the net. It was the first goal of the season for Young.

The rest of the game turned out to be a defensive battle for both squads. Junior Rebecca Toler made her first start in the net for the Panthers and showed she was up to the task in earning the shutout. Toler saved four shots on goal from the Bears, while Mercer’s two goalies combined for a total of two saves. Mercer launched 12 shots, but only four shots were on goal. The Panthers had three shots on goal.

“The entire game was a battle and we are excited our girls came out victorious,” Leader said. “We are proud of the team’s work ethic and effort. But we can’t celebrate for too long because we have to turn around and travel to a rested Georgia Southern team, who did not play today. We need to recover and hit the road for our last game with an in-state rival this season.”

Georgia State came into the 25th game of this in-state series having lost the last one to the Bears, who beat the Panthers at home last season by a 1-0 margin. But, with the win tonight, GSU now leads the series, 12-9-2. After a tough 3-0 loss to unbeaten Mississippi State last weekend, the Panthers were ready to pick up a home win and came out strong at the start of the match today in 90-degree heat.

The win was the second one of coach Derek Leader’s tenure and his first home match. The Panthers (2-3) will hit the road to Statesboro, Ga., to take on Georgia Southern (4-0-2), as the Eagles have allowed just one goal in their six games. Georgia State has gained tough experience with a pair of matches with SEC schools (Auburn, 1-0, and Mississippi State, 3-0), while Georgia Southern has not played a school from a major conference. The match will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday.