Blue Hen junior forward Roberto Gimenez’s free-kick goal with five minutes left in the match gave the University of Delaware men’s soccer team a 3-2 victory over Georgia State in Colonial Athletic Association action Saturday night at GSU’s Soccer Complex.
Tied at 2-2 with only five minutes left in the match, a free kick was handled by Gimenez from 35 yards away. The junior forward from Calle Calatrava, Spain kicked the ball into the upper left side of the goal into the back of the net for the eventual game-winning goal for the Blue Hens. It was Gimenez’s second goal of the season and second off a free-kick opportunity.
“So proud of the lads tonight,” Delaware head coach Ian Hennessy said about his squad’s win in the CAA opener. “We had our hands full with a GSU team coming off a loss to No. 1 Maryland during the week and were hungry to open up CAA play with a win.”
With the victory Delaware (3-6-1, 1-0), snaps a two-game losing skid as the Blue Hens own a four-match winning streak against CAA competition while Georgia State (3-6, 0-2) remains winless in the conference.
“We scored three wonderful goals on the evening and the spirit of the group is strong,” Hennessy added.
At the 6:14 mark of the first half, Delaware junior midfielder Mark Garrity tallied his first goal of the season by using a sliding kick into the left side of the net, after a helpful assist from freshman Joe Dipre as the Blue Hens seized an early 1-0 lead.
With the help from sophomore midfielder Kyle Nuel, Garrity collected his second goal of the season from 18-yards away after his shot deflected off a GSU defender into the goal that doubled Delaware’s advantage to 2-0 at the 18:24 mark of the first half.
From a crossing pass by Georgia State’s William Mellors Blair, a diving header into the back of the Blue Hens goal by Caleb Kernan cut the Panthers deficit in half, 2-1, at the 31:27 mark of the opening period.
In the 73rd minute of the match, a high cross from the left side of the field set up Georgia State’s Alex Vivanco, who headed the ball into the far post that tied the match at 2-2 for only 12 minutes before Gimenez’s heroics.
The Blue Hens were out shot by the Panthers, 15-12. Garrity led UD with three shots on goal while GSU’s Kernan paced the Panthers with two shots on goal.
Delaware sophomore goalkeeper Jay Lupas collected five saves in his first CAA victory while GSU’s goalkeeper Vincent Foermer matched Lupas with five saves in the loss.
UD senior John Dineen was issued a yellow card by the officials at the 56th minute of the second half. Stefan Bangsund also was handed a yellow card in the 73rd minute of the match.
“We head home for a crucial mid-week home game versus Towson,” Hennessy said. “We are expecting another good crowd so we are anxious to add another conference win.”
Delaware begins its CAA home schedule on Wednesday, October 3 at 7 p.m. when the Blue Hens host Towson University at Delaware Mini Stadium.