Georgia State men’s soccer looking to continue hot start to 2019

The Georgia State men’s soccer team salutes their fans after their match. Photo Submitted by Rich Von Biberstein & Georgia State Athletics

The Georgia State men’s soccer team, fresh off last year’s Sun Belt title, has gotten off to a hot start this season. With a record of 4-0-3, the team marked its first undefeated start through seven games since 1967. 

In a September interview with The Signal, senior forward Frank Rosenwald spoke about the team’s early-season goals and how an undefeated record through the first six games was a team-wide goal.

“We set ourselves a target to get the first six games,” Rosenwald said. “We are going to try and keep these things going and just push on for the rest of the season.”

Let’s take a look at how things have fared so far.

The team opened up its season on the road against Presbyterian College. The Panthers left South Carolina with a 2-1 victory. Aris Briggs, who has been a standout this season, netted both goals for the Panthers. The junior forward from Memphis, Tennessee led the team in goals last season with six, an achievement which landed him on the 2018 All-Sun Belt First Team and has not looked back this year. Briggs has already notched a team-high nine goals thus far. 

The Panthers played host to Belmont University in their home opener in Atlanta. The team beat the Bruins 3-1, with two more goals from Briggs. Belmont put six shots on target, but goalkeeper Paul Tyson recorded a season-high five saves to ensure the victory.

At 2-0, the team then headed back on the road to face off against the University of North Carolina-Asheville. The Panthers, despite having 20 shots on goal, ended up with a 2-2 tie in double-overtime. Briggs added another goal, furthering his scoring streak, and Rosenwald found his first goal of the season. 

The Panthers turned around and defeated the University of North Florida 2-0 at home. Briggs continued his lightning form with another goal. The team’s defense got their first clean sheet of the year. Tyson added two saves en route to the 2-0 victory. 

The team faced Gardner Webb next in North Carolina. The team fought hard but had to settle for their second, 2-2 double-overtime draw of the season. Despite allowing two goals, Tyson’s four saves helped keep the scoreline level. With a record of 3-0-2, the Panthers matched their best start through five games since 2010.

Winthrop University, another tough out-of-conference game, followed. The team made easy work of the Eagles with a comprehensive 4-0 victory. Briggs ended his one-game scoring drought, with two goals off the bench. Tyson picked up his second clean sheet on the year with three saves. The win kept the Panther’s home record at a perfect 3-0. 

“We still have a lot to work on and to improve to reach our full potential. The good news is that the guys know that and have been working very hard for the upcoming games.” head coach Brett Surrency said. 

The team toughed out a 2-2 draw against East Tennessee State on Saturday, maintaining the unbeaten record through seven games and matching a program record. Briggs scored his ninth goal of the season — a number which ties him for most goals among all NCAA Division I athletes this season.

The team travels to Stetson University on October 1, looking to make history and continue its undefeated start, then returns home to host Mercer on October 5.