Mercer University’s Women’s Soccer team was the first sport to play this year on Sept. 11.
Mercer trailed the majority of the game, but a shot in the second half sent the game into overtime where Georgia State University defeated the Bears 2-1.
The game was set to start at 7 p.m., but lightning delayed the game to 8:05 p.m. in Betts Stadium in Macon, Ga. Mercer went without a goal in the first half of the contest.
“We were quiet in the first half,” Mercer head coach Tony Economopoulos said. “There was pressure on us to put on a good event, but our communication and intensity picked up in the second half.”
The Bears took 15 shots while the Panthers took 13. Georgia State collected 12 fouls throughout the game.
The first goal of the game was scored in the 14th minute of the game by Georgia State’s Liz Fogerty. She was assisted by Kelsee Holloway.
The rest of the first half was back and forth between the teams running up and down the field. One more attempt was made by Mercer to tie before the end of the half with Nicole Icen taking a shot. The ball went to the left of the net.
Georgia State led the game by a margin of 1-0 going into the second half.
“In the second half, I feel like the team really stepped it up a notch,” Economopoulos said. “They did a fantastic job of making sure that if this is our last game, they are going to make sure it is the best game.”
In the first 18 minutes of the second half, the Bears managed three shots. None went into the net.
Aliah Kitchens scored her first career collegiate goal in the 70th minute of the game. She sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net after running past Panther defenders.
Neither team managed to score another goal in the second half, sending the game into overtime tied at 1.
“With overtime, everything is through the window,” Economopoulos said. “One opportunity ends the game. We were unlucky in that moment.”
Georgia State’s Brooke Hart scored the winning goal in the first three minutes of overtime, sending the match to end with a 2-1 score in favor of the Panthers.