ATLANTA--Three first-half goals paced a dominant effort Friday afternoon as the Georgia State men's soccer team kicked-off its rivalry weekend with a 3-0 win vs. Georgia Southern at the GSU Soccer Complex.
Freshman William Mellors-Blair, who led the nation in assists per game in the first statistical rankings released by the NCAA on Thursday, scored the first two goals of his Georgia State career in the first half. Sophomore Peter Kurowski broke down his defender one-on-one and made an excellent run down the left wing before crossing a ball across the goal mouth that Mellors-Blair redirected to the back of the net on the right side of the five-yard box.
Mellors-Blair's second goal was a brilliant individual effort by the freshman from Nottingham, England. He received an airborne pass from senior Yasser Majluf before taking a touch just inside the 18-yard box on the right side. Mellors-Blair dashed towards the top of the box and rifled a left-footed shot into the upper-left part of the net above a diving Eagles goalkeeper, Jack Falle.
"His first goal really lifted us, he has had a lot of assists so far and it's nice that he got two goals today," Georgia State head coach Brett Surrency said, "He's off to a nice start."
Senior defender Peter Vania opened his account for the 2012 season by chipping home a goal from point-blank range in the 31st minute. Vania found a loose ball after Majluf headed a cross from junior Jamal Keene towards the net. Vania's right-footed strike on the doorstep gave Georgia State a 3-0 lead for good at the 30:04 mark.
Senior goalkeeper Vincent Foermer made two saves to earn his 12th career shutout. Falle also made two saves in the losing effort.
Georgia State scored three goals in the first half for the first time under third-year head coach Brett Surrency.
"It's a good win, we came out and we were able to put goals on the board early," Surrency said, "That was huge and it allowed us to rest some guys with the next match being on Sunday."
Georgia State (3-2-0) extended its unbeaten streak against Georgia Southern (2-4-0) to eight straight matches. The Panthers next travel to Macon, Ga., to take on Mercer at 7 p.m. on Sunday. The Panthers and Bears will meet for the 51st time in series history with Georgia State owning a 30-16-4 advantage all-time.