Raleigh, N.C.--Sophomore midfielder Jamal Keene buried the match's lone goal in the 11th minute to lead the Georgia State men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory at NC State Tuesday night.
The win was Georgia State's (6-2-2) first ever victory over NC State (3-4-2) in three tries and was its first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent since travelling to No. 6 Clemson and upsetting the Tigers 2-1 on Sept. 5, 2001. Keene, a sophomore transfer student, scored his first goal in a GSU uniform and became the eighth player to score a goal for GSU this season.
"The ACC is the premier soccer league in the country," GSU head coach Brett Surrency said, "To get a win against an ACC opponent for the first time in10 years is fantastic. We knew the NC State game was going to be a big one for us and fortunately we were able to come out on top."
Keene teamed with classmate Stephen McGill on a give-and-go from just outside the 18-yard box to spring the early chance for GSU. Keene buried the shot to put the Panthers up 1-0 at the 10:28-mark. It was just the third of GSU's 14 goals this season put away in the first half. It was also McGill's first assist as a member of the Panthers.
"Stephen and I sucked in the defense and it was a quick one-two touch back to me," Keene said, "I took my opportunity and buried it."
In a tight defensive battle, freshman CJ Cochran stood tall and made three saves in net to lead the defense to its fourth shutout this season and the second of his career. The Panthers withstood a flurry of shots just after Keene buried their goal in the first half. Cochran made two saves in just more than a minute beginning at the 28:37-mark to keep the Wolfpack scoreless.
"CJ got the shutout on his birthday," Surrency said, "He made a few big saves and any time you come away with a clean sheet you have to be happy with that."
The Wolfpack held the edge in shots (9-6) and corner kicks (6-4) for the match played at Dail Soccer Field. NC State like Georgia State was looking to rebound from a loss before conference play resumed this weekend.
"This was a big win," Keene added, "It really shows that Georgia State is a good team and the CAA is a good conference and that we can hang with the teams from the bigger conferences."
Georgia State returns to Colonial Athletic Association play on Saturday when it hosts Hofstra. A note to all fans planning to attend, Saturday's match was changed from a 3 p.m. start time to now beginning at 1 p.m. Also, GSU will hold "Kicks for the Cure" on Saturday to benefit The American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. All fans are asked to wear pink for the match and the first 150 fans will receive a free pink t-shirt.
"Hofstra will be a great game and to get back home for the first conference game will be great for us," Surrency said, "We're happy to play for such a great cause. It's encouraging to be able to hold the Kicks for the Cure event at home."
Visit the men's soccer page on www.GeorgiaStateSports.com throughout the week for a preview and more details of Saturday's match.