ATLANTA--Riding a wave of momentum, the Georgia State men's soccer team looks to continue its surge with an important non-conference match against Florida Atlantic on Friday at Panthersville (4 p.m.).
The Panthers ride a three-match unbeaten streak into their matchup against the Owls. GSU went 2-0-1 last week with wins at Presbyterian (3-0) and against Mercer (2-1) with a tie on Sunday at UAB (1-1). This weekend, which also includes a home match against FIU on Sunday at 12 noon, marks GSU's final chance to build up more momentum before Colonial Athletic Association play begins next Saturday.
"It's the last weekend before we start conference play so it's important for us to continue to progress like we have the past couple of games," GSU head coach Brett Surrency said, "We're looking at these two games to do the same thing. The guys will be excited to have two home games in one weekend."
The Panthers and Owls are familiar foes as this will be the 17th matchup of the two teams and the second in as many seasons. The teams first met in 1993 with FAU notching a 5-0 victory at home over GSU. The Panthers trail in the all-time series with a 6-9-1 mark against the Owls. The two teams tied 1-1 last year in Boca Raton, Fla., as the Panthers conceded the tying goal in the 73rd minute after sophomore Michael Nwiloh scored his first career goal off a corner kick from junior Victor Nkhoma in the 27th minute.
"FAU is playing very well, and they're better than they were last year," Surrency said, "At the same time I think we're better than we were last year so I anticipate it being a very good match."
The Panthers are a significant presence on the NCAA national men's soccer statistics rankings released this week. As a team, GSU is 13th in the nation in save percentage at .880 and 24th with a 0.57 goals against average (GAA). Individually, junior goalkeeper Vincent Foermer is 20th in the country in GAA (0.50). Foermer has allowed just two goals in 360 minutes of play but missed the team's last game due to injury.
Florida Atlantic boasts an elite keeper of its own in junior Jeremy Crumpton. Crumpton is No. 1 in the nation in saves (38) and tenth in saves per game (6.33). Owls senior Darnell King will be one of the most dangerous forwards GSU will see all season. King is tied for fourth in the country in goals (five) and tied for seventh in points (12).
The Owls, hailing from the Mid-American Conference, are coming off two victories on back-to-back days last weekend. FAU downed Jacksonville, coach Surrency's alma mater, 3-1 in their home opener last Saturday and followed that with a 2-1 victory over Stetson.
Visit www.GeorgiaStateSports.com on Friday for a link to live stats before the match and a full recap with reactions and statistics from Panthersville following the match.
Fans can also engage GSU men's soccer and receive in-game updates, pictures and more by clicking like on the GSU Men's Soccer page on Facebook (facebook.com/GSUMensSoccer) and following @GSUMensSoccer on Twitter.