Newark, Del. – Junior Sarah Bennett’s game-winning goal in overtime propelled the Georgia State women’s soccer team to its first Colonial Athletic Association win of the season, a 2-1 victory over Delaware (4-4-1, 0-1) Sunday afternoon in Newark, Del. The Panthers’ triumph improves their season record to 4-7 and snapped Delaware’s three-game win streak.
Bennett’s goal was her fifth this season and represented her second game winner. Freshman Whitney Ravan landed GSU’s first score to elevate her season-total to three and earn her title as the Panthers’ highest-scoring freshman. Senior goalkeeper Kellianne Collins continued her solid and consistent play, recording five saves on the day to capture the win.
“Delaware did not play on Friday and we played a battle in the worst weather conditions, a downpour of rain that took so much out of us,” said head coach Domenic Martelli. “For us to gun it out against a very good Delaware team who was playing their first game of the weekend really showed the talent and determination of our team.”
Collins was tested shortly after the opening kickoff when GSU conceded a penalty kick at the 2:05 minute mark. Ali Miller chose to keep the ball on the ground as she took the shot for Delaware but Collins laid out on her left side to make the save and deny the Blue Hens an early lead.
Freshman forward Whitney Ravan created a chance at a Panther score in the 19th minute with a header shot on goal but the Delaware keeper came up with the save. Sophomore Lyndsey Gaffney also got a chance on goal with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Gaffney’s shot would have gone in if not for a defensive save by a member of Delaware’s back line.
Just minutes before halftime, Collins denied the Blue Hens a goal as she jumped up to get a hand on a Delaware shot to tip it up and over the cross bar. The first 45 minutes of the contest came to an end with neither team finding the back of the net.
After the break, Ravan tallied GSU’s first goal in the 64th minute. On the play, Ravan beat a defender to leave her one on one with Delaware’s goalkeeper. The keeper made an early move, missed the stop and Ravan buried her shot to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Delaware evened the score five minutes later with a goal from Ali Miller.
“The game was very even in the first half with not a whole lot of chances,” commented Martelli. “We had determination in the first 20 minutes of the second half until we scored. We really dominated. Delaware played really well too and had a good amount of chances. It was back and forth throughout the entire game.”
In the final minutes of regulation, redshirt-sophomore Jordan Young fired a shot in on Delaware’s goal but the keeper deflected the ball back out into play. As the ball was kicked around in front of the goal, it got sent out to sophomore Jewel Evans a wide open on the right. Evans corralled the cleared ball and sent a shot back in, but the keeper made a diving save toward the right post to deny Evans the winning goal and take the game into overtime.
Bennett landed the game winner in the ninth minute of overtime with a long shot inside the left post to cement the Panthers’ 2-1 victory.
“Our great players showed up today, all over the field from our goalkeeper all the way to our forwards,” said Martelli. “This is what we are. This is Georgia State, no question about it. Winning here puts us in a great situation for next weekend and all the games to follow.”
Georgia State will look for its second conference victory Thursday, Sept. 29 on the road at William and Mary at 7 p.m.