Eagles fall on Senior Night

Daniel Waugh

Georgia Southern hosted their final game of the regular season at home against state rival Georgia State University.

The game began on a back and forth pace between both teams. Emmanuel Raji crossed up a defender and kicked the ball to Eric Dinka and scored his third goal of the season, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute of play. Minutes later, Adam Abdellaoui scores his third goal of the season with an assist from Dinka and Georgia Southern extended their lead to two goals.

Georgia State proceeded to rally in the remaining minutes of the first half. In the 36th minute, Tristen Trevino scored for the Panthers with an assist from Rashid Alarape, and brought the game back within one. Then, with seven seconds remaining in the first half, a kick from the Georgia State deflected off an Eagle defender and goes into the net, tying up the game 2-2 at halftime.

Eagles head coach Kevin Kennedy was not happy about the goal given up leading into halftime. “It was elementary,” he said. “The unwillingness to step out and defend and the lack of commitment was really frustrating. I felt we had them on the ropes leading 2-0 and we gift them one (goal) to draw even in the first half.”

The second half began with matching momentum on both sides, and then in the 53rd minute, Georgia State scored with a goal by Alarape, giving them a 3-2 lead. The Panthers held the lead until the 73rd minute. Abdellaoui scored his fourth goal of the season with the assist from goal keeper Jack Falle, tied the game at three. However, Nenad Smiljanic regained the lead for good two minutes later for the Panthers with a goal scored off a free kick. The Panthers added another late goal and defeated the Eagles 5-3.

Georgia Southern finished the season with a 6-8-1 record (3-2 Sun Belt). The Eagles will prepare for Georgia State once again, as both teams will compete against each in the semi-finals matchup in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. They will face off this Friday at 3pm.