ATLANTA--Sophomore Stephen McGill sent an enthusiastic crowd at Panthersville home happy after he scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick with 5:18 remaining to give the Georgia State men's soccer team a 2-1 victory over Mercer Friday night.
Senior Ayokunle Lumpkin headed home the equalizer in the 76th minute to knot the score at one. Junior Eric Lawrence sent in a cross that Lumpkin skied above a crowd to bang home. Less than 10 minutes later, McGill tried the same in the 85th minute, but was taken down in the box to force the free kick.
Seeing the goalie leaning, McGill smacked the ball to the back of the net.
"I was watching the keeper, he started to go right early so I knew the whole other side was open," McGill said.
The late game-winner capped a wild affair that lived up to GSU-Mercer battles of the past in intensity. A total of 29 fouls were called as the Panthers clawed their way back for the win.
"It was a battle; Mercer always plays very, very hard," GSU head coach Brett Surrency said, "In the second half, the boys kept battling. As far as energy and soccer being played, I think it's the best we've done all season."
Mercer (1-2-1) sophomore Ehjayson Henry scored the match's first goal after freshman Carol-Oscar Andersson snuck a pass to him through the Panther defense. Henry deked by Panthers goalkeeper Vincent Foermer and buried a shot into the right side of the net.
Foermer made two saves to earn the victory for GSU (3-1-0). The Panthers outshot Mercer 14-7 and held an 11-2 advantage in corner kicks for the match.
Georgia State now faces a quick turnaround with a road match at UAB on Sunday (7 p.m. EDT).