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Sanchez strikes on senior day for double-OT win

Georgia Gwinnett College’s Johan Sanchez controls the ball Saturday in the Grizzlies double-overtime win over SCAD-Savannah. (Special Photo: Tom Grason)

Georgia Gwinnett College’s Johan Sanchez controls the ball Saturday in the Grizzlies double-overtime win over SCAD-Savannah. (Special Photo: Tom Grason)

Georgia Gwinnett senior Johan Sanchez scored his first goal as a Grizzly in the team’s regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon to give the GGC men’s soccer team a 1-0 double-overtime victory over SCAD-Savannah in Lawrenceville.

Sanchez was one of eight seniors honored before the game as the Grizzlies wrapped up the regular season at 13-4, finishing with a six-game winning streak.

The game marked the third time in two years that the Grizzlies have defeated the Bees (8-6) by one goal and the second double-overtime contest between the two teams this season.

It also stands as the third straight 1-0 victory for GGC, which has lost just one time since Sep. 17.

The Grizzlies are now off until GGC hosts the 2013 Association of Independent Institutions Championship Tournament Nov. 15-16 in Lawrenceville. The pairings and game times are due out early next week.

Neither GGC nor SCAD could capitalize on offense through much of the defensive struggle, as the Grizzlies built a 12-4 total shot advantage.

Several times the Grizzlies had promising looks, but SCAD goalkeepers Ali Bassir and Josh Brown combined for five saves and on a few occasions GGC missed just wide of the target.

Lewis Sharpe made one leaping save on a free kick opportunity in the final minute of regulation and held on in overtime to post his fourth shutout in the last six games.

The Bees played the final 21 minutes of regulation and the overtimes down a player after receiving a red card on a second-half GGC attack.

Neither team could convert in the opening overtime period, but it didn’t take the Grizzlies long to connect in the second period of extra time. Just over a minute in, the Grizzlies took back possession in the SCAD zone and German Rodriguez fed Sanchez through to the front of the goal. The senior from Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, buried the ball past Brown to start a Grizzly pile on the field, capping another memorable regular season for GGC.

Head coach Steve DeCou’s squad is now 28-6-1 over its first two seasons.