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GGC soccer teams prepare challenging schedules

Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies

Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies

The Georgia Gwinnett College soccer programs, now eligible for postseason competition, have locked in schedules for their second seasons, which begin in August.

The men's and women's teams will play a combined 18 home games at the Lawrenceville campus during the regular season, which will be followed by the Association of Independent Institutions Championships, both teams' first-ever postseason appearance. Since GGC is hosting this year's AII tourney, the teams gain automatic bids into the field.

The Grizzlies weren't allowed to compete in the postseason during the 2012-13 academic year, its first as an NAIA member.

"The opportunity to host the AII tournament at the end of the season with a shot at an automatic national tournament bid is huge," GGC women's soccer head coach Domenic Martelli said. "Our grueling regular-season schedule will prepare us and we look to have a great home-field advantage for that event."

The GGC women's team has 10 home games, seven vs. fellow Georgia teams, on the slate. That includes an Aug. 25 season opener at home vs. Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as matchups with in-state NCAA Division II programs Georgia Southwestern, West Georgia and Young Harris.

Martelli's team, which won 10 games in its inaugural season, has two lengthy road trips -- Sept. 6 and 8 games in Florida and Sept. 20 and 21 games in Kentucky and Tennessee.

"Our schedule this year encompasses a wide variety of competition in an effort to prepare ourselves for postseason play against the top teams from around the country," Martelli said. "We want to be ready for all of the challenges of the season ahead."

The GGC men's team, which won 14 games last season, had that same goal with its scheduling. It debuts at home with an Aug. 10 scrimmage vs. Clayton State, while the first regular-season game, against Thomas, also will be at home on Aug. 23.

The game with Thomas kicks off the GGC Tournament, which also features an Aug. 24 home game vs. Milligan.

"The goal for this year's schedule was simple," GGC men's head coach Steve DeCou said. "We wanted to build a resume that would allow us to be a top-four qualifier for the postseason tournament. Now that we know we are in the AII tournament, the goal is to secure a No. 1 seed."

The GGC men have more road trips planned than the women's team, highlighted by a trip to the John Brown Tournament in Arkansas Sept. 6-7 and another to the Tennessee Temple Tournament Oct. 11-12. The Grizzlies, who outscored the opposition 93-9 last year, have nearly a month on the schedule, from Oct. 5 to Nov. 2, without a home game.

"We increased the difficulty in our schedule in that we're playing more ranked teams and squads from last year's national tournament, but we still expect to continue our winning ways," DeCou said. "We strive to be a nationally ranked team that has a chance to host an opening-round game in the national tournament."

GGC Grizzlies

2013 men's soccer schedule

Aug. 10 Clayton State* 7 p.m.

Aug. 17 at Oglethorpe* TBA

Aug. 23 Thomas 7 p.m.

Aug. 24 Milligan 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 Embry-Riddle 1 p.m.

Sept. 6 Oklahoma City+ TBA

Sept. 7 John Brown+ TBA

Sept. 11 at Auburn-Montgomery 4 p.m.

Sept. 13 at SCAD 7 p.m.

Sept. 17 Reinhardt 5 p.m.

Sept. 21 Union 1 p.m.

Sept. 28 Tennessee Wesleyan 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 Young Harris 6 p.m.

Oct. 11 Tennessee Temple# TBA

Oct. 12 Concordia-Selma# TBA

Oct. 15 at Bob Jones 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Truett-McConnell 4 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Montreat 3 p.m.

Oct. 29 at Cumberlands 4 p.m.

Nov. 2 SCAD 2 p.m.

Nov. 15-16 AII Championships at GGC TBA

  • Scrimmage
  • at John Brown (Ark.) Tournament

2013 women's soccer schedule

Aug. 22 at Anderson* 5 p.m.

Aug. 25 SCAD 1 p.m.

Aug. 30 at Faulkner 5 p.m.

Aug. 31 Virginia Intermont 4 p.m.

Sept. 6 at Northwood 3 p.m.

Sept. 8 at St. Thomas 12 p.m.

Sept. 13 Thomas 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 Auburn-Montgomery 1 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Cumberlands 4 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Tennessee Temple 1 p.m.

Sept. 28 Georgia Southwestern 4 p.m.

Oct. 8 Reinhardt 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 Brenau 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 at Young Harris 5 p.m.

Oct. 20 at Agnes Scott 2 p.m.

Oct. 24 Montreat 7 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Truett-McConnell 2 p.m.

Oct. 28 West Georgia 7 p.m.

Nov. 4 Emmanuel 7 p.m.

Nov. 15-16 AII Championships at GGC TBA

  • Scrimmage