MORROW — Freshman Mackenzie Bailey scored in the 77th minute as the Georgia Gwinnett College women’s soccer team pulled a 1-0 upset on NCAA Division II opponent Clayton State University on Sunday in Morrow.
Goalkeeper Mo Gutierrez, a Dacula grad, made six saves, including several key stops down the stretch to give the Grizzlies their second win of the year over an NCAA squad.
The Lakers (9-6-2) stood seventh in the NSCAA Southeast Region rankings as members of the Peach Belt Conference. The Grizzlies improved to 9-5-1 with their third straight shutout.
“This was such a fantastic win,” said GGC head coach Domenic Martelli. “Our girls scraped and clawed out there to battle and come away with a win against a great team. We came out and created chances. Then Mackenzie scored one of the best goals of the year, not just because it was the biggest, but she and Amy (Almanza) really worked beautifully together and she finished on a fantastic shot on a rope.”
The Grizzlies fired 14 shots on the day, including seven on goal on Lakers goalkeeper Laoise O’Driscoll.
After the teams had battled to over 75 scoreless minutes, Bailey took a pass from Almanza and found the upper corner of the net from 20 yards out for the eventual game-winner. The GGC defense and Gutierrez held strong through the final 13 minutes to preserve the win.
“We have to put this game in perspective with where we’ve been this year,” Martelli added about being four games over .500 in the team’s inaugural season. “Results like this ought to make us know that we should play like this every game. We played with consistency for 90 minutes at the level that we wanted.”
The team returns to action with a 1 p.m. start at Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga., ending its season-long five game road trip.