GSU prepares for conference tournament

Redshirt freshman defender/midfielder Aidan Reising (6) maneuvers away from an opposing player.Photo by: Heather Yeomans

Trevor McNaboe

An inconsistent season in the Southern Conference ended on a high note as the Georgia Southern University men’s soccer team closed out conference play with a win.

In the preseason SoCon poll, GSU was projected to finish third after making a run to the conference semifinals last season.

The conference season began with losses at home to Davidson College and Wofford College by scores of 2-1 and 3-0.

The Wildcats only in-conference win was against the Eagles as they sit last in the SoCon with a 1-4 record. Wofford, on the other hand, is at the top of the conference with a 4-1 record in SoCon play.

GSU then went on the road to play No. 25 ranked and preseason SoCon favorite Elon University and lost a close match 1-0. The Phoenix are currently defending SoCon champions and have won 12 matches overall this season.

At the midway point of the season, GSU was faced with the harsh reality that they would be playing the toughest stretch of the schedule.

The Eagles rallied and won the team’s first in-conference game against Appalachian State University at home by a score of 1-0, the Eagles first victory in the last five meetings against the Mountaineers.

GSU would win an out-of-conference game against Jacksonville University by a score of 5-0 to gain momentum going into a match against the University of North Carolina at Greensboro on a two-game winning streak.

The Eagles were unable to continue the streak and recent success they have had with UNCG as they lost by a score of 2-1.

The loss put the Eagles at 1-4 in-conference and last in the conference, far from where they were projected just two months ago.

Facing one of the toughest tests all season on the road to close out SoCon play against nationally ranked Furman University, GSU upset the Paladins 2-1 in overtime.

The Paladins had not been beaten all season at home, posting a 5-0 record. What makes this win even more impressive is that Furman had not allowed a goal at home all season until GSU played them.

With the win the Eagles are heading into the last game of the season at fifth in the conference. They play James Madison University on Sunday at 1 p.m. and will await the seed that they receive for the Southern Conference tournament next weekend.