Georgia State scored two goals in the first nine minutes Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field en route to a 4-0 win against the Eagles. Four different players scored for the Panthers.
A Georgia State free kick from some 15 yards beyond the midfield line led to the first goal. Kari Quinn's kick carried all the way to the box. Winthrop goalkeeper Dimi Poulos charged out to make the stop, but Apryl Goodwin beat her to the ball and dumped it into the empty net from about 16 yards in the fifth minute.
Four minutes later, the Panthers scored again. A Georgia State corner kick was bounced out to Kristen McKillop. She centered the ball in to teammate Kara Vezza, who put a header past Poulos for a 2-0 lead.
Winthrop coach Melissa Heinz said the goals came much too easily.
"Both goals should have been helped. Neither was created by something Georgia State did," Heinz said. "The first goal, the ball never should have been there. A correction needs to be made 10 to 30 seconds earlier. Our goalkeeper takes the blame for allowing that goal when it isn't her fault. Those goals are stoppable."
The Eagles have four days to remedy the defensive problems. Winthrop will play in the Navy Soccer Invitational from Friday-Sunday in Annapolis, Md. They will play host Navy on Friday night and Delaware on Sunday afternoon.
Winthrop (1-1) was able to come back from 1-0 deficit Friday against Tennessee Tech to win 3-2. But Sunday, although they outshot the Panthers 17-13, the Eagles could not climb out of a 2-0 hole.
Quinn and Kay Harbrueger added goals for the Panthers in the second half.
The Eagles had two near misses at the end of the first half when Ann Lutzenkirchen rifled a shot off the crossbar. Minutes later, Chelsea Tidwell missed wide of the net.
The new 3-4-3 set Heinz has installed for 2008 may take some time to get established. Poulos, who made four saves in the match, had four defenders to work with her first three years in the net; this year she has just three.
"The new defensive system is going to be hard if we don't figure it out soon," Poulos said. "It is definitely different. We need to get it spot on."
The Eagles got a scare when senior Chelsea White went down with an injury in the 14th minute. White is Winthrop's all-time leader in points and goals.
She got a scoring opportunity off a lead pass from Rachel Webster near the right post. White and Georgia State goalkeeper Heidi Blankenship converged on the ball. Blankenship was able to slide in to smother the ball as they collided. Both players sat the rest of the half but returned after intermission.
"(Blankenship) came out. I was just trying to get a foot in and I drove my knee into her," White said after the game. She was more concerned with righting the team than the ice bag on her left knee.
"Tactically, we need to change some things up. We're not finishing on goals. We needed to capitalize on the shots we did get."
Georgia State, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, improved to 3-0 with the win.