GGC soccer stays hot with wins

Senior Alex Joseph’s goal in the 81st minute lifted the Georgia Gwinnett men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Montreat College on Saturday in Black Mountain, N.C., on the Tourbeau Sports Group National Men’s Soccer Game of the Week presented by NSCAA-TV and Admiral Soccer.

The Grizzlies mounted 19 shots on the day, including 10 on net, but not until Joseph’s header in the final minutes was GGC able to tally the deciding goal.

The score sent the Grizzlies (11-4) to a season-high fourth-straight win — all on the road — and dropped Montreat to 6-7-1.

Lucas Carvalho made eight saves in goal to keep GGC off the board through much of the game, with German Rodriguez firing a game-high four shots on target.

Lewis Sharpe made two saves for the Grizzlies, who posted their fifth shutout of the season.

“We weren’t as good as we have been at points this season but it was a great result today,” GGC head coach Steve DeCou said. “We weathered a couple of their attacks and we created more opportunities and had more good chances.”

Georgia Gwinnett outshot Montreat by 13, but the teams went scoreless for the first 80-plus minutes of the contest.

Just under the 10-minute mark, the Grizzlies earned a corner kick that would produce the game-winner. After the Montreat defense headed the ball momentarily away from danger, a GGC feed back into the six-yard box bounced once in traffic and found Joseph on the doorstep for the-game winning header.

The score was the defender’s first of his GGC career.

“There’s no better time than the present and Alex played a good game for us, that was great to get the game-winner on the road,” added DeCou.

The Grizzlies then turned away a late scare with under 90 seconds as the Cavaliers got loose deep inside the GGC box, but Montreat could not produce the equalizer.

The Grizzlies improved to 7-1 away from home with the win.

Georgia Gwinnett has two games remaining in the regular season and returns to action Tuesday at Cumberland (Tenn.) in a 4 p.m. contest.

GGC women 2,

Truett-McConnell 0

Amanda Dale and Sarah Murphy each tallied scores for the Georgia Gwinnett women’s soccer team as the Grizzlies notched their 12th win of the year in a 2-0 victory at Truett-McConnell College on Saturday in Cleveland, Ga.

The Grizzlies (12-3-1) racked up their seventh shutout of the win by holding the Bears (9-6-1) to only two shots on goal.

Georgia Gwinnett finished its road schedule at 6-1-1 for the season with Saturday’s win, tying a program-best four-game winning streak.

“We had to play with a different game plan today and I think the reason we won is because we executed that plan well,” GGC head coach Domenic Martelli said. “Give credit to Truett-McConnell, they really battled us all game long.”

The Grizzlies built scoring chances early and often, missing out a few times on the opening score before connecting in the 24th minute. Mary Vernetti fed a ball from the edge of the box across the goal mouth to Dale, who buried it for her team-leading ninth score of the season.

The teams went into halftime with GGC on top, 1-0.

The Grizzlies fought off an early surge from the Bears to maintain their lead to begin the second half. At the 74-minute mark, Jocelyn Baker connected with Murphy on a GGC attack and the Grizzly junior sailed in her first score of the season into the corner of the net.

Mo Gutierrez and Alex Hays split time once more in goal to keep the Bears off the board and preserve the shutout.

Georgia Gwinnett plays its third game in five days when it returns home on Monday to begin the final week of the season. The Grizzlies host West Georgia in a 7 p.m. kickoff before wrapping up the regular season Nov. 4 against Emmanuel.