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Panthers Drop Game, 1-0, to In-State Rival Mercer

Published: August 28, 2011

Macon, Ga. - Shots on goal from four separate Panthers were not enough for a victory Sunday afternoon as the Georgia State women's soccer team (0-3) fell, 1-0, to in-state foe Mercer on the road in Macon, Ga.

Panther newcomers Alison Gonzalez and Nikki Fedele led the team in shooting, launching three shots a piece toward Mercer's net. After stepping in for injured starting goalkeeper Kellianne Collins during Friday's game, sophomore Becca Ingram recorded six saves in goal against Mercer.

Georgia State got off to a quick attack following the initial kick off. Freshman Sydney Miller got a header shot just over 30 seconds into the game but could not find the back of the net. Mercer then tried to get on the board with two shots yet both were unsuccessful with the first ball wide and the second blocked by the Panther defense.

In the fifth minute, sophomore defender Briana Pitre created another scoring chance for Georgia State but Mercer goalkeeper Cagney Valloch came up with the safe to deny Pitre the goal. Following Pitre's attempt at a Panther score, Mercer forward Washida Blackman launched two shots on goal but was unable to penetrate the hands of GSU goalkeeper Rebecca Ingram.

Sophomore Alyssia Feronti , freshman Fedele and junior Sarah Bennett each launched shots on the Bears' goal in the remaining minutes of the first half but none were able to capitalize on an opportunity for the Panthers.

At halftime, neither team had been able to notch a goal, and the opening half came to an end with the score even 0-0.

Mercer's score came early in the second half with a header goal from Nadja Kolliesuah. Soon after Ingram denied Mercer's Olivia Tucker a shot on goal, Kolliesuah got a head on a cross from teammate Emerald Philips and the ball found its way into the top right corner of the net to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Down by one point, the Panthers tried for an equalizer with two great scoring opportunities. The first began with a lofty corner kick from Feronti. Junior Carly Lafferty was waiting in front of the net and tried for a header score but the ball missed the goal wide. Ten minutes later, Gonzalez booted a shot towards Mercer's goal but could not get the ball past Valloch.   

The ensuing minutes saw the Bears attempt to increase their lead with six shots, but the Panther's back line held strong to deny Mercer a second goal.  

In last five minutes, Georgia State fired three shots including one final attempt by Gonzalez with 15 tics left on the clock, but Cagney made the save to secure Mercer's 1-0 victory.

The Georgia State women's soccer team will spend next weekend on the road in Jacksonville, Fla. at the Fun in the Sun Tournament. The Panthers will first take on North Florida Friday, Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. before testing their talents against tournament host Jacksonville at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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