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Georgia State and Mercer win conference tournament openers

A good night for two of the local men’s Division 1 soccer teams.

A pair of goals - one in the first and another late in the second half - boosted third-seeded Georgia State to a 2-0 victory over sixth-seeded Howard in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt men’s soccer tournament.

Georgia State’s first good scoring opportunity in the first half came with a goal with around 19 minutes left that was wiped out on an offsides. Later, Liam Fitzsimmons’ free kick with 12:49 left was on frame but grabbed by Bison keeper Kenneth Hersey. Kwaku Adu-Boahene knocked in a nice feed from Rashid Alaripe with 2:42 left in the half to put the Panthers up 1-0.

“I thought Frank (Rosenwald) found a great pocket of space, was able to drive and turn, slide it through, and then Kwaku made a great run to the ball.” said GSU coach Brett Surrency. “We felt we could have success in wide positions. We had a few chances before that and were finally able to break through before halftime. That was a big boost for us going into the break.”

GSU was able to control play for much of the second half and prevented the Bison from creating many serious chances, their best one coming with 4:36 left off the foot of Andres Gomez that sailed off target. The Panthers iced it with 1:33 left on a strike by Andrew Thompson that provided the game’s final margin.

Georgia State takes on second-seeded Georgia Southern tonight at 6:30 at the GSU Soccer Complex. The Panthers lost to the Eagles 3-1 in their regular season match at home.

Mercer one win away from NCAAs

The second-seeded Mercer Bears are one step away from the NCAA Tournament by virtue of a 2-0 win over the Wofford Terriers in the Southern Conference men’s soccer semifinals. Kobe Perez struck twice in this one, first in the 43rd minute and again in the 59th minute. It was a light night in net for Jeremy Booth, who only needed to make a single save as the Bears dominated 13-3 in the shot department and 8-0 in corners.

Mercer will play the top-seeded East Tennessee State University Buccaneers (who beat the Bears 2-1 in the regular season) on Saturday at 5pm in Greensboro, NC.