Harrisonburg, Va.—The Georgia State men’s soccer team had one of its most successful seasons in school history come to an end on Friday night in a 5-3 loss to No. 18 Old Dominion in the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals.
The Panthers (13-7-2, 6-5) now await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at 4:30 p.m. and a possible at-large bid to the tournament. GSU is currently the No. 40 team in the RPI and defeated the No. 29 team in William & Mary 2-1 on Thursday night. In their second game in 24 hours, the Panthers came back from a two-goal deficit in the second half but it wasn’t enough vs. Old Dominion (12-4-1, 7-3-1).
Junior Gimel Gordon scored a goal in the 37th minute and assisted on senior Ayokunle Lumpkin’s goal in the 62nd minute that tied the game at two. The Panthers conceded two more goals before defender Peter Vania headed home a corner kick from freshman Jordan Weise in the 87th minute that brought the Panthers within a goal.
Old Dominion answered with a goal late at the 89:15 mark to seal the victory and end GSU’s CAA Tournament run. This was Georgia State’s first CAA Tournament in school history and the first time it notched a postseason victory since 2004. The Panthers are two years removed from a four-win season and have now posted 20 wins combined in back-to-back seasons. The Panthers were picked to finish 12th in the 12-team CAA in the preseason poll prior to the 2011 season. Besides a 1-0 loss at Towson at the tail end of a three-game road trip to end the regular season, GSU has only lost to teams inside the top 60 in RPI in the latest rankings.
Georgia State is No. 8 in the Nov. 8 NSCAA South Atlantic Region poll. GSU defeated the No. 7 team in that poll, William & Mary.
The Panthers fell behind early after junior defender Alex De John headed in a corner kick off the foot of sophomore forward Tim Hopkinson. Hopkinson later added an unassisted goal at the 35:19-mark to give Old Dominion a 2-0 lead.
Junior Alex Vivanco made an outstanding individual play to spin off his defender on the left side and fire a pass to across the box to the feet of Gordon. Gordon collected the ball and fired it into the net to bring GSU within one in the 38th minute.
The game went to halftime with Georgia State trailing 2-1 before Lumpkin redirected a low cross from Gordon past ODU goalkeeper Victor Francoz. The play started when junior midfielder Yasser Majluf deked an ODU midfielder in his own end and fed Gordon on the wing. Gordon flicked a ball past a defender on the right side and evaded a slide tackle before slicing in a low cross to a wide-open Lumpkin on the doorstep.
Hopkinson added his second of the game in the 75th minute when he collected an Alex Vaughan shot that rebounded to his feet off a GSU defender. Junior midfielder Jordan LeBlanc then converted on a penalty kick awarded to him after a hand ball in the box was called.
Vania’s header goal in the 87th minute avenged a narrowly-missed opportunity on a nearly identical play earlier that hit the crossbar. Weise delivered the ball and Vania skied to finish the chance.
Old Dominion outshot Georgia State 21-7 for the match and held a 8-6 advantage in corner kicks. Junior goalkeeper Vincent Foermer made five stops in the losing effort.
Check www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for updates on Georgia State men’s soccer this weekend and early next week. Georgia State is seeking its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid in school history.