LAWRENCEVILLE — On Friday night, the Georgia Gwinnett women’s soccer team was able to create a number of chances, but all of them ultimately came up fruitless. Such was not the case on Saturday as the Grizzlies earned a thorough 7-0 victory over visiting Cumberlands at Grizzly Soccer Complex.
“It’s not only nice to score the goals we did today, but it’s nice to create the amount of chances we did as well,” GGC Head Coach Domenic Martelli said. “I don’t think it matters who we’re playing when we’re able to make the kind of decisions that we made in the final third today. We did really well, and I was happy to see that we could score from a number of different scenarios, too.”
The GGC offense frequently tested the Patriots (0-13), putting up 27 shots and putting 15 on target. However, the opening salvo came when a Cumberlands defender mishit a clearance attempt in front of her own goal, putting the ball out of the reach of UC goalkeeper Autumn Williams for the first goal of the game in the 16th minute.
Things escalated just four minutes later as Mary Vernetti, GGC’s all-time leading scorer, doubled the Grizzly advantage after a combining with Mackenzie Bailey with a give-and-go along the right side to pick up her seventh goal in 11 matches played this season.
It was Bailey’s turn to strike in the 31st minute as Bristol Countess laid the ball off to her well outside the box, and the Alpharetta native smashed it home from distance. Sam Helmink completed the first half dominance as a free kick from near midfield bounced in front of UC’s Williams and went over her head into the back of the net.
The one-way traffic continued into the second half as Jaclyn Bailey assisted a 60th minute strike by Mackenzie Bailey and a 68th minute header by Sarah Murphy to make the scoreline 6-0 in favor of the Grizzlies (6-5-1).
Bethany Johnson completed the dominant performance with a goal from a Kenzie Gray setup.
Three different players saw time in goal for the Green and Gray as the team posted a third consecutive shutout. Magaly Gutierrez started and played the game’s opening 34 minutes, recording three saves, and neither Courtney Hicks nor Alex Hays were called upon to make a stop over the last 56.
“I think that defense starts from the forwards,” Martelli explained. “When you can keep the opposing team from out of your end, it really helps make the rest of the defense look good, and that’s what we’ve done over these last three matches.”
The Grizzlies will return to action next Saturday with a trip to Tennessee Wesleyan.