Georgia Gwinnett College junior soccer players Joy Mertzig and Karim Tmimi have been honored as the Continental Athletic Conference soccer offensive Players of the Week for leading the Grizzlies to a pair of noteworthy victories.
Mertzig, the women’s honoree, had a record-setting performance by scoring a hat trick and setting the program’s career goals mark (35) in Sunday’s win at Dalton State College. The Stockholm, Sweden, native found the back of the net in the eighth, 30th and 72nd minutes to account for all three of the Grizzlies’ goals in the match.
Mertzig’s 35 career goals is even more remarkable considering the 2021 season is her first playing primarily as a forward. The junior has played center back from 2018-20. Mertzig’s hat trick tied the program single-game school record.
The Grizzlies stand 4-2 on the season and are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 poll. Mertzig leads the team with five goals. GGC heads to Campbellsville University (Ky.) on Thursday, September 16, at 6 p.m. before playing at No. 16 Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) on Saturday, September 18, at 8 p.m.
Tmimi, the men’s award winner, was brilliant for the No. 14-ranked Grizzlies in a come-from-behind victory at previously undefeated Cumberland University (Tenn.) last Saturday. Playing down a player from the 27th minute in the match, GGC fell behind 2-0 early in the second half.
That’s when the forward from Poitiers, France, initiated the comeback by assisting on the team’s first goal in the 63rd minute. Then, Tmimi scored the tying goal in the 87th minute before netting the game-winning goal in the 103rd minute. His two goals and one assist accounted for the most points (five) recorded by a GGC player in a match this season.
Tmimi has scored five goals so far this fall, including three game-winning efforts — accounting for all of the Grizzlies’ victories in a 3-2-1 season. The team is scheduled to host Talladega College (Ala.) on Thursday at 7 p.m. before concluding the week with a match against SCAD Savannah on Saturday at the Grizzly Soccer Complex, starting at 1 p.m.