ATLANTA--After a third straight shutout victory, the Georgia State men's soccer team will try for another Colonial Athletic Association win with a road contest against Northeastern this Saturday night at 6 p.m.
The Panthers (8-2-1, 2-1) are coming off a historic 1-0 upset of No. 22-ranked William & Mary on Wednesday night. It's the first win for GSU over a top 25-ranked opponent in a decade and was its first victory over a ranked opponent on its home field.
Northeastern (5-4-1, 1-2) is a perfect 3-0 this season at home and hasn't dropped a home match to GSU in two tries. The Panthers have yet to score in those two matches, being shutout 2-0 in 2005 and 2009.
"Northeastern works really hard, they have a lot of passion and they are a high-energy team," GSU head coach Brett Surrency said of the Huskies, "They take their high level of intensity and extend it even higher when they play on their own field."
The Panthers look to end their winless streak in Boston, Mass. by utilizing their own shutdown defense. A back line of sophomores Peter Vania, Chris Locandro, Michael Nwiloh and freshman Bo Stroup have led GSU on a three-match shutout streak. It's the longest streak since the 1987 team posted shutouts in its first three matches of the season. In total, Georgia State has five shutout wins this season, the most since the 2003 team under head coach Kerem Daser posted six shutout wins. The Panthers' defense has allowed a CAA-low six goals this season, the lowest total through the team's first 11 matches in school history.
Northeastern's top threats are leading scorer sophomore Dante Marini and sophomore Ricardo McDonald. Marini leads the Huskies with 12 points (4g, 4a) while McDonald has scored three goals and tallied two assists.
Northeastern enters Saturday's match looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat at Delaware on Wednesday. The Huskies currently sit at ninth in the CAA after Wednesday night's loss and a 2-0 loss last Saturday at James Madison.
"It's going to be a big game for them because they are going to want to get back to .500 in the CAA," Surrency said. "The biggest thing about Northeastern is that they're a very difficult team to play at their place."
The Georgia State men's soccer program has undergone a dramatic turnaround since Surrency took over prior to last season. The Panthers have 15 wins in Surrency's two seasons at the helm, equaling their win total combined from the four seasons prior to him taking over.
"We told the team last year the goal of the program was to lay the foundation and then continue to grow off that by bringing in higher-level players," Surrency said, "The guys still have that blue-collar mentality and attitude that we hoped that they would maintain. I think from this year, with the increase in the talent, we've seen what that mindset can bring in terms of results."
"We still have a long way to go and it is nice looking back at times, but we have a lot of work to do looking forward," Surrency added. "We're in a position now that every game we play is going to be the biggest game of our season. Right now, our focus is solely on Northeastern and going up there and playing good soccer."
Live video of Saturday's match will be available courtesy of the Northeastern University Athletics' page. Visit www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for a link to live video and live stats of Saturday's match and receive updates and more by following the team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GSUMensSoccer.