Two goals not enough as Eagles fall to Panthers in Sun Belt championship

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  • Javier Carbonell fends off Kwaku Adu in Sunday’s game. 

Kaitlin Sells

The Georgia Southern men’s soccer team’s ended their season Sunday after falling to Georgia State in the Sun Belt conference championship 4-2.

The game started with intensity, both teams firing off and taking every opportunity they could to shoot the ball. GSU was the first to find the back of the net off a penalty kick in the 28th minute of the game.

GS didn’t answer until the second half where Javier Carbonell stole the ball from the keeper in a state of confusion and put the ball in the back of the net with ease 65 minutes into the match.

The Eagles kept the momentum going as the scored just six minutes later as Aldair Cortes gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead by drilling a free kick into the goal, but the Panthers tied the game back up just three minutes later off another penalty kick.

The Panthers reclaimed the lead by scoring again in the 82nd minute and sealed the win by scoring a fourth goal in the last seconds of the game after taking advantage of a defensive mistake on the Eagles’ side.

“They just had a little more experience on the day,” Head Coach John Murphy said. “They got a couple of breaks, and you’ve got to make your own breaks. I thought we did that getting back into the game with the first goal, then had a well-worked second goal.”

GSU outshot the Eagles 19-15 and by taking the loss the Eagles ended their season with a record of 7-7-3. The loss also gives the Panthers the lead in the 2018-2019 Southern vs. State rivalry series 4.0-2.0.

“They’re a good team, we battle with them quite a bit,” Murphy said. “It’s tough to lose to them on our home field, but the future is very bright for our program right now, we’re going to continue to move forward.”

Following the match Carbonell, Gonzalo Talavera, and Cortes were all named to the 2018 Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament Team. After the loss the men’s soccer team season will come to a close as the team will have nine returning starters and 25 returning players overall for 2019.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Assistant Sports Editor,