Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies
LAWRENCEVILLE — Sophomore forward Mary Vernetti, a Grayson grad, put the Georgia Gwinnett College women's soccer team on top of nationally ranked Northwood University with a first-half goal, but the Grizzlies surrendered the final three goals of the game in a 3-1 Seahawks win on Sunday at the Grizzly Soccer Field.
The GGC squad (1-1) was less than 24 hours removed from its program-opening win Saturday against Tennessee Temple.
Twenty-five minutes into the game, Vernetti took a pass from midfielder Allison Fernandez, a Central Gwinnett grad, and then beat NU goalkeeper Matilda Hjalte for the opening score.
The Seahawks (1-0), ranked 15th in the nation in the preseason NAIA coaches' poll, responded quickly behind forward Helen Lynskey. The junior got loose inside the Grizzlies' box and tied the game just three minutes after GGC had taken the lead.
The teams entered halftime deadlocked, 1-1.
In the second half, the Seahawks stayed on the attack behind Lynskey. The striker scored three minutes after halftime and then once more with 13 minutes remaining in the game to produce the 3-1 winning score.
Grizzlies goalkeeper Mo Gutierrez, a Dacula grad, made six saves in net, including a diving stop with 30 minutes remaining to keep GGC close.
"I was very proud of our team to be tied with the 15th-ranked team in the country at halftime," said Grizzlies head coach Domenic Martelli. "Now we see where the bar is set and it's up to us to work hard every day from here on out. I was encouraged, we got to see where we stand. Now we move forward."
The Grizzlies return to action Saturday with their first road game of the season at Brenau University at 7 p.m.