Georgia State women’s soccer ended its regular season finale in thrilling fashion as the Panthers defeated Louisiana 2-1 in overtime Sunday afternoon at the Ragin’ Cajun Soccer Complex, getting the game-winning goal from freshman Lexy Smith (Rochester Hills, MI) – her first career goal as a Panther.
GSU improved to 7-9-2 overall and 5-4-1 in the Sun Belt while Louisiana fell to 3-12-3 on the year and 2-7-1 in league play. The Panthers end the year as one of the hottest teams in the conference, as Georgia State will enter the Sun Belt Tournament on a 5-0-1 unbeaten streak.
“The girls battled tremendously hard over the weekend and I couldn’t be more proud of their resilience today,” GSU head coach Ed Joyce said. “Our seniors have really stepped up an have showed great leadership to help us finish the season on a high. Our young players have followed their lead and really matured as the season has gone on.”
Neither team was able to generate much offensive in the first half of Sunday’s contest, as the two squads combined for just six total shots after 45 minutes of play. The match continued as a stalemate for much of the second half, until the Panthers broke the scoreless tie with under 10 minutes to play when Brisa Zavala (Marietta, GA) knocked in a string of passes from Rebecca Crouch (Falls Church, VA) and Mikella Rodriguez (Miami, FL) to put GSU ahead 1-0.
Louisiana found an answer just four minutes later, getting the equalizer off a scramble in the box that forced overtime. Georgia State nearly netted the game-winner just a minute into the first overtime period, but Lily Barron (Sharpsburg, GA) saw her shot bounce off the crossbar and keep the score at 1-1.
Then in the 98th minute, Smith lined up a free kick from about 25 yards out on the left side of the pitch and buried her first career goal to give GSU the victory. She became the just second true freshman to net a goal for the Panthers this season, joining Zavala.
Georgia State increased its point total in the league standings to 16, currently slotting the team as the five seed in the conference tournament. With one final week of league play remaining for a few other teams in the conference, the official Sun Belt Tournament field will be announced Sunday, Oct. 28.