Women’s soccer looks to break losing streak

Layne Saliba

Since 2006, the Georgia Southern Women’s soccer team (9-2-1, 4-0) has not been able to win an in-season contest when paired against Georgia State (4-6-4, 2-1-1). The only win the Eagles have been able to bring in against the Panthers was an exhibition game last season.

However, 2014 was the start of a new chapter. The Eagles may have a chance to redeem themselves as first-timers in the Sun Belt Conference. The Panthers are tied for third in the conference while the Eagles sit comfortably at the top.

Looking solely at the season records, the Eagles should be able to make it out of the weekend with a win. And when looking deeper into the statistics, that statement is validated even further.

Georgia Southern

The statistics for Georgia Southern have been impressive thus far. That trend needs to continue if they want a shot at breaking this losing streak.

As a team, the Eagles have been able to post an average of 14 shots per game throughout the season and score 1.92 goals per game.

The Eagles have four players with at least nine shots on goal. Junior forward Nora El-Shami leads the team with 18, scoring on four of those. Sophomore forward Melinda Lukas falls right behind El-Shami with 12 shots on goal, but leads the team in goals with a total of six.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Katie Merson holds an impressive .814 save percentage.

Georgia State

Georgia State may have tied the same number of teams that they have beaten, but that just means they don’t go down easy.

The Panthers have two stand-out players to look out for. Senior forward Whitney Ravan has 18 shots on goal this season and has scored on five of those.

Junior forward Ashley Nagy is following closely with 15 shots on goal, but has only scored on two of her attempts. All of the other players for Georgia State simply don’t have the statistics to keep up with these two.

The Panthers only score an average of one goal on 10.4 attempts per game, which should help Merson stay rested and ready to defend if the opportunity comes her way.

However, Georgia State’s sophomore goalkeeper Brie Haynes’ save percentage is slightly higher than Merson’s at .825 percent, so this could turn into a battle of the keepers.