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Vernetti, GGC women defeat NCAA Division II foe

Mary Vernetti

Mary Vernetti

AMERICUS — Grayson grad Mary Vernetti’s goal in the 87th minute lifted the Georgia Gwinnett women’s soccer team to its 10th win of the season on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Georgia Southwestern State University.

The teams each scored once in the first half as Amanda Dale’s team-leading 11th tally of the year in the eighth minute put GGC on top early.

Mo Gutierrez, a Dacula grad, was called upon for a pair of saves in goal for GGC as the Grizzly defense held the Hurricanes to only four shots on the day.

The win was the fourth in five games for the Grizzlies (10-6-1) while the Canes dropped to 2-14-2.

“It was nice to get a good win on the road as Georgia Southwestern was a very experienced, very battle tested team,” GGC head coach Domenic Martelli said about his team’s NCAA Division II opponent.

“We played some great soccer in the first 20 minutes in creating a lot of chances,” Martelli said. “The first half evened out as they were able to get a goal against the run of play. The second half we were able to continue to go at them and create many more opportunities. It was good to get another win that was a battle.”

The Grizzlies kept pushing for the go-ahead score in the second half, firing eight shots on goalkeeper Amber Bahri, a North Gwinnett grad who made 10 saves. With time running down, Salina Orzikowski fed Vernetti just outside the box and the sophomore forward buried her 10th goal of the year with a high shot that provided the winning margin.

GGC held a 12-3 advantage in shots on goal in the game.

The Grizzlies finish their inaugural season with a Saturday afternoon home contest against Shorter University at 1 p.m. in Lawrenceville.