LAWRENCEVILLE – Three second-half goals propelled the No. 9-ranked Georgia Gwinnett College men’s soccer team to a 3-2 victory against Life University on Sunday evening at the Grizzly Soccer Complex.
Sophomore Edward Raji, who played high school soccer at Collins Hill, scored the first two tallies as the hosts took a 2-1 lead. His first came just 20 seconds into the second half when freshman Kymani Irving played a long ball over the Life defense, with Raji drilling a shot inside the left post.
Then, Raji stole a pass from a defender and beat the goalkeeper on an open-net goal in the 57th minute, giving GGC (4-1-2) its first lead of the match.
Life (3-2) made things interesting in the 22nd minute with a goal on a set play off a free kick from Jamie Lightfoot, and the Running Eagles squared the match in the 73rd minute on a tally by Reyes Hernandez from in front the GGC goal.
The match would not be tied for long. In fact, it took just four minutes for junior Alfredo Rivera, a Brookwood grad, to drill a shot into the upper left corner of the Life goal from 25 yards away. The goal was the first of his GGC career and gave the team the margin of victory.
Both teams attempted 13 shots in the back-and-forth contest.
“Scoring three goals against a much-improved Life team is a step in the right direction," GGC head coach Steve DeCou said. "This was a much needed win and the boys played well. We got a lot of contributions today, with 20 players seeing match time. I was proud of Edward getting his two goals in the Grizzly Green and Alfredo having an absolute strike for the winner."
Georgia Gwinnett College hosts No. 21-ranked St. Thomas University (Fla.) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. from the Grizzly Soccer Complex.