ATLANTA, GEORGIA—The Georgia State University Panthers men’s soccer team wins 1-0 thanks to a header by junior defender Charlie Ward in the game’s last minutes. The Panthers battled the USC-Upstate Spartans to the bitter finish on Tuesday night.
Ward began the match in the same way he would end it. Ward had two header efforts on goal in the fourth minute of the game, but both were unsuccessful. Mario Arrocha, a graduate transfer from USC-Upstate, was active right away, taking two shoots back-to-back, beating out two defenders for goals but missing the left post.
The Panthers outshot the Spartans 10-5 in the first half but failed to score. The defense held firm, had critical blocks and saved throughout the game to help the team earn the shutout. Gunther Rankenburg made three saves for his fourth shutout of the season. The defense limited the Spartans to zero goals with three stops and three blocks on nine shots.
Ward sealed the Panthers’ victory after a Spartans yellow card handed Carlos Luna a free kick. Luna sent a long ball across the goal to Ward, who headed it in in the 84th minute. The Panthers begin league play on Saturday when they travel to James Madison. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ at 7 p.m.