GGC’s Amanda Dale chases down a ball against Georgia Southwestern on Saturday in Lawrenceville. (Photo: Bernie Connelly)
LAWRENCEVILLE — Georgia Gwinnett College’s women recorded their fourth shutout of the season Saturday, hammering Georgia Southwestern State University 7-0 in the first game of a doubleheader at the Grizzlies’ soccer complex.
The Grizzlies controlled possession throughout the game and capitalized on some fortunate bounces en route to the big victory.
“We were able to play as fast, as clean and as crisp as we wanted to today,” head coach Domenic Martelli said. “Across the board we were able to play all of our players and pretty much get what we wanted out of them.”
The Grizzlies had a few chances early on that went just wide, but broke through with their first goal in the 12th minute when senior Jocelyn Baker was there on the rebound and buried her shot. That goal seemed to cause the team to relax some and it started creating some better chances.
The second goal came on a beautiful free kick taken by Kelsey Griswold from just on the attacking half of midfield as she found the end of Amanda Dale’s foot. Dale, who leads the team with six goals, tipped it in.
Mary Vernetti was dangerous down the left side the entire match. She found the back of the net in the 22nd minute and assisted when another of her shots rebounded to Nikki Lefevere, who converted her scoring chance in the 59th minute. Blake Dispinga also was able to put away a goal in the 37th minute.
With a 4-0 lead in the first half Martelli was able to get a lot of young players into the game. Every healthy player saw the field for his team.
“Our midfielders were great,” Martelli said. “It didn’t matter who was in there. They all did a tremendous job with their spacing, keeping pressure and maintaining possession.”
Bethany Johnson scored in the 62nd minute when she caught the keeper napping with an incredible shot from more than 30 yards out.
Georgia Southwestern recorded an own goal in the 65th minute to conclude the scoring.
The Grizzlies outshot the Hurricanes 22-3 with 12 of their shots coming on goal compared to just one for Georgia Southwestern. The only chance on the day for the Hurricanes came off of a free kick which keeper Mo Gutierrez, a Dacula grad, was able to smother.
GGC men 4,
Tennessee Wesleyan 0
The men capped the doubleheader with a shutout of their own, 4-0 over Tennessee Wesleyan.
Similar to the women’s side, the Grizzlies were able to control the possession for most of the game and manage the tempo.
“It’s good to score goals,” head coach Steve DeCou said. “It was good to just be in charge of a game like that. We’ve had some guys injured and some people stepped up and performed very well for us tonight.”
After a hectic first ten minutes which saw both teams get good looks at goal, the Grizzlies broke through when German Rodriguez’s shot rebounded to Berkmar grad Martin Lugo, who put the chance away for the game’s first goal.
In the 33rd minute GGC got its first corner kick of the game and Juan Giraldo bent in a perfect strike that Ruud Grol was able to head in for second goal.
The Grizzles withstood some late pressure from the Bulldogs, but continued to stay organized defensively, particularly on corner kicks. Tennessee Wesleyan had five corner kick opportunities and was not able to turn any of them into goals.
Tennessee Wesleyan came into the game having scored 14 goals in its last four games, but the Grizzlies were able to keep them off the board for their third clean sheet — thanks in large part to the effort of Grol in central defense. Tennessee Wesleyan had just five shots in the game, three of which were on goal.
Georgia Gwinnet put the game away for good in the 84th minute when Essie Aburime was able to collect a loose ball and put his shot into the corner for the game’s third goal. As the final seconds ticked down, Rene Enang added a fourth and final goal.
In addition to the goal, Grol is a tremendous leader on the pitch. Despite being just a freshman, Grol is constantly shouting directions to his teammates and organizing the Grizzlies’ defense.
“He does a tremendous job of organizing,” DeCou said. “That’s what we brought him in here to do. And now others are starting to follow his lead. So for him to be only a freshman, it’s going to be nice to have him the next three years.”