ATLANTA- The Georgia State men’s soccer team ended the 2016 season with a successful Sun Belt Championship campaign, falling just short of earning an NCAA Tournament bid. The team finished the season with a 14-8 overall record (3-2 Sun Belt), and a top-15 scoring offense.
The Panthers had a strong start, winning three of their first matches and five of their first eight. The offensive unit gelled early for the team, with sophomore Hannes Burmeister scoring consecutive hat tricks in the first two home matches of the season. The midfielder earned both the Offensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year from the Sun Belt.
Georgia State was offensively dominant throughout the season, only being shut out in three matches and not being defeated by more than two goals in a game. The team outscored its opponents 42-25 this season, ranking 11th nationally for scoring offense and first in the conference. GSU also ranked fifth nationally, first in the SBC, in total goals.
Burmeister was the team’s leading scorer, posting 11 goals in 19 games. Sophomore Max Hemmings was second on the team with seven total goals and two game-winners.
The team had several huge wins on the road, defeating both Asheville and Duke in overtime. The win over Duke was the first time in program history the Panthers have defeated the Blue Devils.
This season’s freshmen made huge impacts on the field, with Frank Rosenwald scoring five times this season, including a game-winner, and Kyle Clinton scoring three game-winning goals. Clinton was voted Sun Belt Co-Freshman of the Year for his efforts.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers posted seven total shutouts including four straight at the end of the regular season. Georgia State ranked second in the Sun Belt for shutouts.
Yannic Horn had a huge impact for the Panthers in goal, making 71 saves for a .740 save percentage. His 1.11 career goals against the average ranks first in program history, surpassing CJ Cochran’s 1.33.
”We’re pleased with the progress that the program had this season and I feel like we are poised to continue that rise next year,” said head coach Brett Surrency. “We were very close to our goals of a regular season and tournament championship, and I think that will motivate us throughout the spring season. This is one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve ever had in college soccer and a lot of that comes down to be surrounding by an incredible group of players and staff. It was, and is, a pleasure and an honor to be a part of such a great group of guys.”
Georgia State will return nearly all of the student-athletes from this year’s squad, including seven starters.