ATLANTA- The Georgia State women’s soccer team wrapped up its first season under first-year head coach Ed Joyce on a defensive high. The team recorded nine shutouts during the season, with a season-high ranking No. 4 in the country.
The team began the season on with a solid defensive performance, shutting out four of its first five opponents. GSU went 3-2-2 in non-conference play with five shutouts entering league play.
The Panthers opened Sun Belt conference play at 0-1-1, tying UL Lafayette 1-1 and falling 3-1 to Texas State. The team defeated rival Georgia Southern and Coastal Carolina, who finished the season in second place. Georgia State finished tenth in the league with a 2-4-4 Sun Belt record.
Junior Brie Haynes had an impressive season, setting a Georgia State record for career shutouts with 19 total. She also ranks second in both shutouts in a season with nine and saves in a game with 15. Her 15 saves set a personal record for saves in a game. Haynes currently ranks fourth in career saves with 244.
On the offensive side of the ball, freshman Brooke Shank led the team with four goals and the game-winner over Georgia Southern. Shank was one of only three student-athletes who scored multiple goals this season, who combined to score over half of the team’s goals.
Sophomore Caitlin Ray led the team in assists with three, the only student-athlete to post multiple assists. Ray now has five career assists, following two from her freshman year.
“From a defensive standpoint, we made great strides from last season by decreasing goals conceded by 10,” Joyce said. “Obviously, we would have liked to score more in certain games but I think that starting the season off we were tough to beat. We had a small squad and our seniors were pivotal in what we did, which is always great to see. Moving forward, we have some new players joining the squad for the spring and we’re looking to develop ourselves physically to create a nice foundation for next year.”
Georgia State will return nearly 20 players in the spring, and will add several freshmen and transfers before the start of next season. The team will also return veteran Suzanne Arafa and transfer Siobhan Wilson, both of whom red-shirted this season.