The Georgia Gwinnett men’s soccer team will make its return to action Tuesday against Bethel, its opponent in the first of four straight road matches.
The Grizzlies (7-2-1) currently boast of a No. 12 national ranking and will be looking to build on a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against Talladega last Wednesday. The Green and Gray surrendered an early tally in that match before James Toombs picked up his first career goal, and Pierre Semudenge-Mujene followed up with a 67th-minute match-winner.
Since the inception of the program, GGC has been exceptional when taking on opponents from Tennessee, and this season has been no different as the team has scored six times in a pair of wins over Cumberland and Tennessee Temple. All-time, the Grizzlies are 10-0 vs. teams from the Volunteer State, out-scoring opponents by an eye-popping 62-2 margin.
In order to maintain that goal-scoring form, GGC would like to get leading scorer Jamie King back on the scoresheet. The Englishman has six goals this season but will be looking for his first since putting two past then-No. 14 William Carey on September 21. Both Martin Lugo and Semudenge-Mujene also have multiple goals as well, and as a team, the Grizzlies have outscored their opponents 16-7
Despite having just one goal, Ibrahima Sissoko has also been massively influential in the attack, registering eight assists in 10 matches, which ranks him No. 6 nationally in the category. The Norcross native supplanted teammate German Rodriguez at the top of GGC’s all-time list earlier this year, and he currently has 19 for his career.
Defensively, Ruud Grol and Ellis Husband have held down the fort in the heart of the back line, helping goalkeeper Lewis Sharpe register four shutouts on the year and put up a .685 goal-against-average with 39 saves.
Bethel enters Tuesday with a 4-5-1 record after dropping a 3-2 overtime loss at No. 22 William Carey over the weekend. The loss ended a three-match unbeaten streak, which featured a draw vs. No. 5 Auburn-Montgomery and wins against defending national champion Martin Methodist and Belhaven. The Wildcats have been effective offensively, scoring in all but one match and finding the back of the net 24 times. However, they’ve been just as porous defensively, conceding at least one goal in each match and multiple goals in all but two.
Kickoff from McKenzie, Tenn., is scheduled for 3 p.m.