The Georgia Gwinnett women's soccer team opened up the Grizzlies' new synthetic turf soccer field with an impressive 7-1 win over Bob Jones University on Saturday in Lawrenceville.
The Grizzlies (5-4) moved back above .500 with the win and improved to 5-1 at home on the year. The Bruins fell to 2-6.
Junior Valeria de Santiago piled up a school-record four assists in the win as the Grizzlies broke in their new field for the first time.
"We played so much better on the turf today than we had been on grass," GGC head coach Domenic Martelli said. "It just allowed us to be cleaner, quicker and crisper. We needed to work on these final third situations as it was something we hadn't quite gotten to yet. It wasn't very easy today as Bob Jones sat in and defended tremendously."
GGC scored twice in a two-minute span midway through the first half to open up the game.
Amanda Dale took a feed from Allison Fernandez, beat the Bruins defense and goalkeeper Shelley Hawk to slot home the first score on the Grizzlies' new field and a 1-0 GGC advantage.
Amairani Almanza headed in a bouncing ball in front of the net just two minutes later to make it 2-0 with her fourth score of the year.
With just under eight minutes remaining in the first half, Mary Vernetti put away a pass from de Santiago for the 3-0 advantage before halftime.
Allison Fernandez got into the act seven minutes into the second half as she rocketed one past Hawk into the left corner for her first goal of the season and a 4-0 GGC lead.
Mackenzie Bailey later kicked in a loose ball in front of the net for a 5-0 lead, and Vernetti added her second of the day moments later to make it 6-0.
De Santiago continued her strong day in the 67th minute by adding a goal to her total for GGC's seventh and final score.
"We had her doing a few different things this year but today we put her up front and allowed her to really work well on offense," Martelli said about the junior forward.
The Bruins' Deanna Howard put away a late tally in the final minutes as BJU climbed onto the scoreboard.
The Grizzlies return to action with a 2 p.m. game next Saturday at Montreat College (N.C.) before returning to their new home field Oct. 9 against Young Harris College.
GGC 5, Florida College 0
The Georgia Gwinnett men's soccer team used two goals from German Rodriguez to help sail past Florida College 5-0 on Saturday in Temple Terrace, Fla.
The Grizzlies improved to 7-1-1 on the season and 4-1 away from home.
Tom Butler, Martin Lugo and Andres Molano all added scores for GGC in the winning effort.
Goalkeeper Iain Struckmeyer earned his first win in the net for the Grizzlies as GGC has now outscored its opponents 37-3 on the season.
The Grizzlies returned to the win column in advance of next Saturday's home contest against Auburn-Montgomery, the top-ranked NAIA squad in the opening national RPI ratings.
Butler converted a penalty kick 11 minutes into the game Saturday for the opening score, then Rodriguez scored his first of the afternoon 20 minutes later as GGC took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the break, Lugo put away a score in the 57th minute. Molano's score in the 70th minute made it 4-0, then a second score from Rodriguez in the 83rd minute capped his two-goal game and the GGC scoring.
Georgia Gwinnett held a 15-6 shot advantage over the host Falcons.
The Grizzlies will host the top-ranked Warhawks next Saturday at 1 p.m. in their first game on GGC's new synthetic turf field on campus in Lawrenceville.