ATLANTA – Three second half goals mounted a 4-3 come from behind win for the Georgia State women’s soccer team (6-10, 3-4 CAA) Friday evening at the Panthersville Soccer Complex. Sophomore forward Jewel Evans netted the game-winning goal with less than three minutes to play to cap off the rally and defeat Towson (7-8, 2-5 CAA) as the Panthers earned their third conference victory.
In addition to her game-winning goal, Evans landed GSU’s second goal of the match to account for a four-point game and elevate her season goal total to six. Junior forward Sarah Bennett also accumulated four points notching one goal and contributing with two assists. Redshirt-sophomore midfielder Jordan Young knocked in her first goal of the year and was credited with an assist to bring her season-total to a team-leading six.
“The culmination of the game’s four goals were unbelievable set ups,” said head coach Domenic Martelli. “Everything we did to get those points was awesome. Our team did not want to come away tonight without a win and I think that determination definitely showed through most of the game.”
In what proved to be a back and forth, physical game, the Panthers’ offense had no shortage of scoring opportunities, owning the edge in the shot column 24-11. Sixteen of the team’s two dozen shots were on goal, forcing Towson’s keeper to make 12 saves.
Towson opened the game’s scoring in the sixth minute with a goal from Cheyenne Skidmore. The Panthers answered just over 10 minutes later to even the score 1-1. On the play, freshman Eryka Hawkins delivered a short pass to Bennett on the left side. Bennett settled the pass and buried the shot into the opposite corner of the net to overcome the early one-goal deficit.
The Tigers retook the lead at the 24:40 minute mark when Courtney McKee beat a Panther defender outside the 18-yard box, leaving her one on one with Panther goalkeeper Rebecca Ingram. McKee took a shot in the lower left corner of the goal out of the reach of Ingram to propel Towson back in front 2-1.
Georgia State put on the pressure in the final minutes of the first half with two powerful shots from Young and sophomore defender Alyssia Feronti, yet Towson’s keeper stopped both attempts to send the Panthers into halftime down by one.
“Our sense of urgency in initiating tackles and pinning them in didn’t happen early in the first half,” said Martelli. “We gave up that first goal early and worked hard to even out the score. To give up another goal and be down 2-1 was not a good way to go into halftime.”
GSU came out strong in the second half, playing the first 20 minutes on Towson’s end of the field. The Panthers’ pressure paid off in the 61st minute as Evans netted her first score of the match to balance out the score at two apiece. The play developed as Young sent a long pass from midfield into the 18-yard box for Evans. Towson’s goalkeeper ran out to steal the ball but Evans won the foot race and dribbled around the keeper to make an easy deposit in the back of the net.
“The first part of the second half was really good,” commented Martelli. “We were really on all pistons and going strong.”
Six minutes later, the Tigers came back ahead with a second goal from Skidmore. Finding themselves once again down by one, the Panthers came together and rallied for the win. Georgia State bombarded Towson’s goal with shots for 18 minutes before one made it over the goal line to take the game to 3-3. Bennett sent a cross in from the left side to Young waiting in the middle outside the box. Young corralled the pass and blasted a shot past the keeper for the third go ahead goal of the game with just over five minutes remaining in regulation.
It was 87:06 when Evans found the game winner. Bennett switched the field with a long pass to Evans who sped along the right sideline, outpacing her defender. Evans’ swiftness left her with just the goalkeeper to beat as she slotted the shot home to secure the 4-3 triumph for the Panthers.
Georgia State will look to sweep the weekend with a win over George Mason Sunday, Oct. 9. Kickoff is scheduled for noon with the men’s soccer team playing at 3 p.m. following the completion of the women’s game. Fans can follow the action via live stats at www.GeorgiaStateSports.com. A full recap and statistics will be available on the website following the completion of the match.