Nwiloh Leads Men's Soccer Past Stetson on Senior Day
ATLANTA--Redshirt 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 effort.
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.