Coach Domenic Martelli and the Georgia Gwinnett women’s soccer team have released the team’s 2014 fall schedule, highlighted by seven home contests in Lawrenceville and a pair of matchups against top-10 opponents.
The Grizzlies have four teams on the schedule this fall that reached last year’s NAIA national tournament, including three that finished in the final Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll and another two receiving national votes.
Seven of the Grizzlies’ 17 contests will come against first-time opponents.
The season begins at home on Sunday, Aug. 24, when the Grizzlies host Faulkner (Ala.) at 3 p.m. at the Grizzly Soccer Complex.
The Grizzlies will then hit the road for a season-high six-game road swing before returning home to resume their series with national semifinalist Northwood (Fla.) Sep. 21. GGC is 14-5 in Lawrenceville over two seasons.
The Grizzlies have six in-state foes on the schedule, including in each of the final three contests of the regular season. Meanwhile, GGC will face three teams from the state of Tennessee and two apiece from South Carolina and Alabama to highlight trips around the southeast.
The Grizzlies have two games in August, eight in September, five in October and two in November leading into postseason play.
Senior Day is slated for Saturday, Nov. 8, against Middle Georgia in the regular-season finale.
Georgia Gwinnett will look to compete in its second straight A.I.I. championship this fall, as the four-team tournament will be held at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, Nov. 14-15. The Grizzlies fell to 14th-ranked and eventual champion Cal State San Marcos in their first-ever appearance last season.
The 2014 NAIA National Championships begin Nov. 22, with final site action taking place Dec. 1-6 in Orange Beach, Ala.
This fall’s GGC schedule features four teams that made last year’s 32-team national tournament field and three conference champions in Northwood, William Carey (Miss.), Mobile (Ala.) and Reinhardt. The Grizzlies will travel for three of these upcoming contests, including a visit to Mobile, Ala., Sep. 5-6 to face Mobile and William Carey. GGC will visit Reinhardt Oct. 29.
First-time opponents in 2014 are USC Beaufort, Mobile, William Carey, Milligan (Tenn.), Point (Ga.), Tennessee Wesleyan and Middle Georgia.
“Our goal for the 2014 schedule was to schedule as many teams from the top conferences around the NAIA and the southeast as we could,” said Martelli. “We are going to play a number of tournament teams and several in-state rivals in getting ourselves prepared for the battle of the A.I.I. championships. We will play many high level games where we will look to get great results not only for rankings consideration but for seeding heading into our own conference tournament. Our road trips will allow us to bond as we play in many different parts of the region.”
The Grizzlies reached a No. 23 ranking with a 14-4-1 campaign last year as GGC is 24-11-2 over its first two seasons.