Staff Photo: John Bohn Construction crews work to complete construction on the new soccer field at Georgia Gwinnett College Thursday. The GGC varsity soccer team will begin using the field this weekend.
The Georgia Gwinnett women's soccer team will open the Grizzlies' state-of-the-art synthetic turf soccer field today when it takes on Bob Jones University at 2 p.m. in Lawrenceville.
The field is just the first phase of GGC's $13.5M varsity athletics complex which will be completed in the coming months.
Today's game is free of charge to all spectators. The playing field is just down the hill from GGC's main entrance on Collins Hill Road and fan parking is available across the street. Athletics staff will be on hand to guide visitors into seating areas.
"This is another one of those moments in the history of Grizzly athletics," women's head coach Domenic Martelli said. "It's amazing that it's actually been built right before our eyes. To have the opportunity under Dr. Darin Wilson's leadership to come here and be told certain things were going to happen and they have happened, it's incredible."
The Grizzlies, 4-4 on their inaugural season, have played very well in Lawrenceville. GGC has won four of its five home games, outscoring opponents 17-4. After today, six of the team's final eight games are on the road.
Martelli is eager to watch his squad break in the Grizzlies' new home.
"We like playing on a shorter, quicker surface and I think this will really allow us to do certain things," he said. "Technically, we'll have to adjust certain touches on the ball, but the speed of play will be much better."
GGC owns a decided advantage over its opponents in shots (plus-41), goals (plus-8) and corner kicks (plus-6).
The Bruins, also in their first year as a program, are 2-5 and coming off a 2-1 loss to Pikeville (Ky.) on Tuesday.