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Georgia State defeats Georgia Southern 2-0 in Sun Belt semifinal

Mercer preps for SoCon championship game

Georgia State is one step away from the NCAA Tournament. They defeated Georgia Southern 2-0 in the Sun Belt semifinals on Friday evening.

The best chance for either team in a scoreless first half came with 13 minutes left, as Georgia State’s Nick Hague was denied at the goal line by defender Emil Laursen to keep the game scoreless. The Panthers broke through just over five minutes into the second half as Kwaku Adu-Boahene made a nice run toward goal and hammered it home off a Hannes Burmeister feed to make it 1-0 for the hosts. They nearly made it 2-0 with about 33:30 left on a Adu-Boahene cross that was headed toward net but stopped beautifully by Torgeir Fjaer on a highlight reel save. But with 15:18 left in regulation, they did find their second goal as Rashid Alarape drew Fjaer out of net and eventually positioned himself for a perfect strike.

“After playing two games in two days, (a) lot of things came together for us to be mentally prepared,” said Panthers coach Brett Surrency. “We had the drive and the pride in what we do to get the job done. Hats off to the players - they came out and worked their tails off. They deserve everything they got tonight.”

Georgia State takes on top-seed Coastal Carolina in Sunday’s Sun Belt final. The Chanticleers nipped the Panthers, 2-1, in the final game of the regular season last Saturday. Georgia Southern’s season ends at 8-8-3.

Meanwhile, in Greensboro, North Carolina, the second-seeded Mercer Bears will prepare for the Southern Conference championship game as they are set to take on top-seeded East Tennessee State at 5:00 p.m. today. The Buccaneers are in their second straight SoCon title game (they lost to Furman 1-0 last year), while the Bears return for the first time since 2014, also losing 1-0 to Furman. For Mercer, they are looking to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001 and for the third time overall.