What you need to know:
*GSU takes on Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship
*The Panthers and Eagles tied 1-1 in the regular season
*Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Eagle Field
STATESBORO, Ga. – In its fourth Sun Belt Conference Tournament finals appearance in the last four years, Georgia State men’s soccer will aim to capture its first ever Sun Belt tournament championship as the top-seeded Panthers take on in-state rival and two-seed Georgia Southern Sunday at Eagle Field.
GSU (10-6-2) earned a 2-1 victory over two-time defending champion Coastal Carolina Friday night, getting goals from Max Hemmings and Frank Rosenwald. The Panthers entered the season without a win over the Chanticleers since 1981 but finished 2018 with a two-game sweep against CCU. GSU will look to win its first conference tournament title since the team won the Trans America Athletic Conference (now ASUN Conference) in 2000.
Georgia State brings a 1.14 goals against average into Sunday’s championship match, the second-best mark in the league. The Panther back line is led by two-time Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Kyle Clinton, as well as All-Sun Belt defenders Liam Fitzsimmons, George Proctor and goalkeeper Paul Tyson. In the attacking third of the pitch, GSU is led by Hemmings and Aris Briggs, who have each tallied 11 points on the year.
Georgia Southern (7-6-3) knocked off three-seed Appalachian State 3-0 in Friday’s semifinal match to advance to its first Sun Belt Conference Tournament title game since 2014. The Eagles are led by senior forward Javier Carbonell, the Sun Belt Co-Player and Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Carbonell has scored a league-high 14 goals this year, ranking inside the top-10 among all players in NCAA Division I.
In the last outing between the two squads, Georgia State and Georgia Southern ended in a 1-1 draw after two overtime periods on Oct. 20. The Eagles got on the board first with a strike in the 28th minute, but GSU found the equalizer in the 67th minute from Briggs to force overtime. The draw snapped the Panthers’ three-game win streak against the Georgia Southern.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Eagle Field. The 2018 Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Championship is set for live coverage on ESPN+. Follow the championship action via Twitter (@SunBelt) or live stats available on SunBeltSports.org.
Follow along with Georgia State on Twitter (@GSUMensSoccer) for the latest news and updates.
2018 Men's Soccer Championship Schedule
Thursday, November 8 (Quarterfinals)
Match 1 - #4 Coastal Carolina 2, #5 Howard 1
Friday, November 9 (Semifinals)
Match 2 – 4 p.m. – #1 Georgia State 2, #4 Coastal Carolina 1
Match 3 – 7 p.m. – #2 Georgia Southern 3, #3 Appalachian State 0
Sunday, November 11 (Championship Match)
Match 4 - 1 p.m. – #1 Georgia State vs. #2 Georgia Southern