junior Michael Nwiloh scored an unassisted goal five minutes into the first overtime
period to lead the Georgia State men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over
Stetson on Sunday at the GSU Soccer Complex.
The Panthers (6-12-0, 2-8-0) honored their eight-member senior
class prior to Sunday's match. The eight seniors have played a major part in
leading Georgia State to 29 victories in the last four seasons and its first
NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011.
"I thought we had a lot of chances, I was a bit disappointed the
match went to overtime because we had a lot of chances before that to put it
out of reach," third-year head coach Brett Surrency said. "At the end of the
day the guys came together and we were able to pull out a win with a good goal
by Michael to win it."
Nwiloh's goal, his first of the season, capped a dominating effort
for the Panthers against Stetson (3-10-2, 2-5-1). Georgia State outshot the
Hatters 20-10 and looked to secure a victory late in the match after senior
forward Alex Vivanco chipped home a goal at the 80:40 mark. Vivanco's goal, his
team-leading seventh of the season and his third in his last two matches, came
off a low cross from sophomore Peter Kurowski. The goal was Vivanco's 14th
of his four-year career.
After taking the one-goal lead Georgia State conceded a score with
just 41 seconds remaining as Stetson junior JJ Bostic took a pass on the right
wing from classmate Raffaele Centofanti and rifled a near-post shot past GSU
goalkeeper Vincent Foermer. Bostic's close-range strike forced overtime and was
also assisted on by senior midfielder Caleb Matthews.
The teams went to overtime and just a minute in redshirt junior
Caleb Kernan narrowly missed notching the game winner on a right-footed shot that
sailed inches over the crossbar. GSU pressed the Stetson defense the entire
match and Nwiloh's pressure on Stetson's left-side defense paid off in
overtime. He took advantage of a turnover and raced past his defender to create
an open shooting lane on net. He struck a low, hard shot just inside the far
post from the right wing that ended the match.
"They were trying to play out of the back the whole game and we
tried to press them the whole game," Nwiloh said, "The defender took an awkward
touch, I saw it bounce and I pressured him. I went down wide and shot it and
thankfully it went in back post."
Georgia State ends its season with a 6-12-0 record overall
following back-to-back, 2-1 wins in overtime at home. The Panthers, who fell victim
to a myriad of season-ending injuries this season, return to the pitch for the
spring exhibition season beginning in March.
Foermer was excellent when called upon in net, stopping two
back-to-back, close-range shots while GSU held on to a one-goal lead in the 87th
minute. He finished the match with four saves to earn the 23rd win
of his career. Stetson junior Andreas Schnabl made four saves in the losing
Prior to Sunday's match, Georgia State honored seniors Foermer,
forward Gimel Gordon, midfielder Eric Lawrence, midfielder Yasser Majluf,
midfielder Victor Nkhoma, forward Alex Reyes, defender Peter Vania and forward
Alex Vivanco as part of its Senior Day festivities.
"These seniors are important, they are responsible for laying down
the foundation for what we hope the program is going to be for many years,"
Surrency said, "It was important to get two wins in these last two games. At
the very least the lasting memory for them is being a winner."
Visit the men's soccer page on GeorgiaStateSports.com for updates
throughout the offseason.