Lugo's two goals push Grizzlies past Hurricanes

Freshman forward and Berkmar grad Martin Lugo buried two second-half goals just 30 seconds apart to account for the only scoring in a 2-0 Georgia Gwinnett men's soccer shutout against NCAA Division II opponent Georgia Southwestern State University on Wednesday night on the Grizzly Soccer Field.

The Grizzlies improved to 5-0-1 on the year and held their opponent scoreless for a fourth straight game in the process. GGC has not allowed a goal in over 420 minutes of game action, dating back to a 1-1 tie against Emmanuel on Sept. 1.

Goalkeeper Greg Hartley made two saves on just four Hurricanes shots Wednesday night as GSW dropped to 1-5-1 on the season.

Neither team produced many chances in a tight first half as the game remained scoreless at the break.

"Early on, our final ball was just a little off," Grizzlies head coach Steve DeCou said. "We made some adjustments at halftime and then Martin Lugo just took over in the second half."

Georgia Gwinnett broke the deadlock 13 minutes after halftime following a free kick. When GSW could not clear away a loose ball outside the box, Lugo collected a deflection and launched it over goalkeeper Cade Jones for the first score.

The Grizzlies' second-leading scorer repeated the feat just moments later.

Forward David Burke played a ball in on goal that Lugo deftly flicked on past Jones and into the net for his seventh goal of the year and a 2-0 Grizzlies advantage.

From there, the GGC defense held tough.

"The back four had probably their best game of the year," DeCou said of his defense. "They are starting to jell together. We were able to thwart attacks, keep the ball and make Georgia Southwestern chase us."

The Grizzlies finished with a 16-4 shot advantage on the night in keeping the Hurricanes off the board.

DeCou's team now hits the road for a season-long three-game road trip, beginning Friday at 4 p.m. at Oakwood University (Ala.).

The squad then travels to NCAA Division II power Young Harris College on Sunday for a 2 p.m. start. The Mountain Lions have jumped to number six in the nation in the latest Division II poll. GGC's road swing rounds out with a game at Florida College on Sep. 29.