Brett Surrency and the GSU Panthers riding the wave

Coach Brett Surrency and George Proctor discuss their thoughts during a game in the 2020 season. Photo Submitted by GSU Athletics

Georgia State soccer is in a renaissance coming off great back-to-back seasons, and head coach Brett Surrency sees more great things to come for the program.

The Panthers are coming off a gritty 2-1 road win over the Mercer Bears that saw obstacles on and off the pitch.

“We’ve not been able to play full side, so that was our first rendition,” Surrency said. “It happened to be a game that mattered, and on top of that, Hurricane Sally came through making the field saturated.” 

Aris Briggs was a one-man show for the Panthers, scoring both goals for Georgia State en route to their first win. The reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year is picking up right where he left off in 2019, where he scored 16 goals as a junior.

The Panthers will play every Sun Belt team twice, in addition to an exceptional out-of-conference schedule. Even in shortened seasons, the Panthers will need to pull out all the stops if they want to make another run at the Sun Belt crown this season. 

Due to the pandemic, the Panthers are playing more regional games, including Mercer, the South Carolina Gamecocks, the UAB Blazers and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

“I’m excited to finally have the season in stone,” Surrency said. “We expect a very competitive Sun Belt Conference this year, and playing every team home and away will really make for a regular-season champion.”

Georgia State will host the Sun Belt Tournament, giving the team the motivation to win in front of their hometown fans.

“It really did feel like an accomplishment at that point, especially for the guys,” Surrency said. “Our guys have done the right things off the field to minimize the risk of COVID-19.” 

Georgia State’s first conference game will be against Coastal Carolina, with whom they split in 2019. The Panthers will be looking for revenge against the Chanticleers after losing 6-5 in penalty kicks and losing the conference tournament. 

With the expectations growing as the team’s performance gradually improves, look for the Panthers to play for the conference crown once again. Georgia State soccer is on the rise, and not even the current pandemic can stop the Panthers from another great run at a championship. 

On Tuesday, they were able to knock off the Gamecocks 2-0. The win came less than a week after South Carolina’s win over Georgia Southern, who the Panthers play on Sunday.

For their next act, you can catch Surrency’s team tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. as they take on the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers from the GSU Sports Complex.