Jaguar Women's Soccer News Third Place 2010 National Tournament

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December 17, 2012

Truitt named to All-America first team

Freshman defender and co-captain Alexandria “Alex” Truitt, the anchor of the Georgia Perimeter College women’s soccer back line, has been named to the first team of the National Junior College Athletic Association All-America team.

Alexandria ‘Alex’ Truitt

The first team consists of eleven players, and Truitt joined Indira Ilic of Iowa Western Community College as the only two defenders selected to the top eleven.

Truitt, a Lilburn resident and Parkview High School graduate, played the sweeper position for a defense that posted nine shutouts and allowed only 17 goals. She was so consistent in stopping attacks that the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA) named her to the all-conference first team and the all-tournament team.

“Alex is one of the best defenders I’ve seen at this level, maybe the best,” said GPC head coach Bruno Kalonji. “She has a phenomenal ability to stop attackers and turn the ball back to our midfielders with precision passing. She knows where every player is on the field all the time.”

The Jaguars won the GCAA regular-season championship, finishing the schedule undefeated and ranked No. 10 in the nation. It marked the third consecutive year that the GPC women’s soccer program finished the regular season without a loss.

Georgia Perimeter fell to Darton State College 4-0 in the GCAA championship game, ending the season with a 16-1 record. Nearly 25 percent of the season’s goals against the Jaguar defense were scored in that uncharacteristic game.

Two other players from the conference received All-America honors. Forward Nikita Morris of Abraham Baldwin College made the second team, and South Georgia College goalkeeper Courtiesha Ebanks earned an honorable mention.

In GPC’s three victories over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Truitt and the Jaguar defense kept Morris, the GCAA’s top scorer and Most Valuable Player, from finding the net.

Truitt played on the 2009 Parkview team that won the Class AAAAA state championship. She also played in the Elite Club National League and select soccer in the Gwinnett Soccer Association.

She is the fifth women’s soccer player from GPC to be named All-America honors. The others were Esther Anyanwu (first team, 2010 and 2011) and Linda Chukwuji (2010 second team, 2011 first team); Marbel Egwuenu (2010 second team) and Tori Klingensmith (2010 honorable mention).

A pre-law major, Truitt says her career goal is to become an attorney.

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November 11, 2012

Nine Jaguars make All-GCAA team; Kalonji named Coach of the Year

Georgia Perimeter College dominated the women’s soccer all-conference team announced recently after a vote by the coaches of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, which is also Region 17 of the NJCAA.

Alexander

Haaland

Truitt

Bruce Kalonji

The coaches honored nine Jaguars and named GPC head coach Bruno Kalonji as Coach of the Year.

Jaguars Alex Truitt, Caroline Haaland and Vanessa Alexander were named to the All-GCAA first team, while Kacie McInerney, Iris Gonzalez, Stefani Iotova and Stephanie Guitierrez made the second team. Receiving honorable mention were Rose Okechukwu and Rachael Schmidt.

It is Kalonji’s second Coach of the Year award, the first coming in 2010. He has lifted the GPC women’s soccer program from obscurity to a national contender in his five years as head coach.

Gutierrez

I. Gonzalez

Iotova

McInerney

Kalonji took the team to a third-place finish in the national tournament in 2010, has compiled a 68-20-5 record and hasn’t lost a regular-season match in three straight seasons, a record for all GPC sports.

The 2012 team, the regular-season conference champion and 10th ranked team in the nation, finished with a 16-1 record, the only loss coming to Darton State College in the conference championship game.

Seven of the Jaguars making the All-GCAA team are freshmen and three of those are from Lilburn and Parkview High School.

Schmidt

Okechukwu

The Jaguars’ entire defensive unit was named to the team. Co-captain Truitt (Lilburn, Parkview H.S.), a freshman sweeper, anchored the defense that posted nine shutouts. The fullbacks on either side of her were sophomore co-captain Iotova (Duluth, Duluth H.S.) and freshman Iris Gonzalez (Lilburn, Parkview H.S.).

Haaland (Gray, Tenn., Daniel Boone H.S.) the freshman stopper in front of back line, didn’t let much get back to them, and she guided the attack with masterful precision.

In the Jaguars’ three victories over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, that defensive core rendered scoreless the GCAA’s highest scorer, Nikita Morris, whom the coaches named as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

McInerney, Alexander and Schmidt followed Morris in league scoring. Freshman forward McInerney (Alpharetta, West Forsyth H.S.) finished second in the GCAA and led the team with 21 goals and two assists for 44 points.

Schmidt (Snellville, Brookwood H.S.), a freshman midfielder, had 33 points on 14 goals and five assists, while sophomore forward Vanessa Alexander totaled 33 with 11 goals and 11 assists.

A major playmaker, freshman midfielder Guiterrez (Lilburn, Parkview H.S.) had seven goals and eight assists, finishing as the fourth top scorer for the Jaguars.

That freshman Okechukwu (Aba, Nigeria, Community Girls Secondary School), received honorable mention is a tribute to her athleticism. A natural midfielder, she took over the goalkeeping duties in the third game of the season, posting seven shutouts and allowing only 17 goals.

Also named to the All-GCAA first team: goalkeeper Courtiesha Ebanks (South Georgia College); defenders Stephanie Anes (Darton) and Ronja Holmer (Middle Georgia College); midfielders Taylor Rushworth (South Georgia) and Kim Treutal (Darton); and forwards Morris (ABAC), Allie Schechner (Georgia Military College) and Chihiro Kikita (Darton).

Second team: Goalkeeper Amanda Biondino (ABAC); defenders Ashley Mosher and Taylor Green (South Georgia); midfielders Deanna Reali (Darton College) and Rebecca Russell (ABAC); and forwards Shenika Williams (Darton) and Tiffany Morris (South Georgia).

Honorable Mention: Goalkeepers Angel Baker (Gordon) and Daniel Morgan (Andrew); defenders Erika Strnad (Gordon), Chevelle Lopez (Darton) and Natalia Ellis (Georgia Military); midfielders Katie Clark (Georgia Military), Keshaun Holley (Middle Georgia) and Kaylee Moore and Kellie Starvetski (ABAC); and forward Candace Perkins (Andrew).

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October 27, 2012

Jaguars pick wrong time to suffer season’s first loss

Rachael Schmidt challenges Darton’s Shenika Williams as GPC’s Caroline Haaland watches in back.. Photos/Larry Williams

A previously unblemished season came crashing to a sudden end for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars on Saturday as they lost their first game at a most inopportune time.

Playing on their home field in Albany, the Darton State College Cavaliers won the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association championship with a convincing 4-0 victory over the Jaguars.

Darton (13-5) advances to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Melbourne, Fla. on Nov. 12-17.

The loss especially stung the Jaguars because they had beaten the Cavaliers twice during the regular season, 1-0 and 4-2.

“It’s very difficult to beat a good team like Darton three times,” said head coach Bruno Kalonji.

Georgia Perimeter, winner of the GCAA regular season championship with a 14-0 conference record, finishes its 2012 campaign at 16-1 overall. The Jaguars extended the program’s regular-season undefeated streak to three consecutive seasons.

“How many teams would love to have a 16-1 season?” Kalonji said. “We’re proud of our accomplishments.”

A first-half missed penalty kick by leading scorer Kacey McInerny was as close as GPC could come to scoring. Her shot sailed over the crossbar by the width of a soccer ball.

Caroline Haaland shows the agony of defeat after the championship match.

Meanwhile Darton had its way with the unusually sluggish Jaguar defense, which previously allowed only 12 goals, registered nine shutouts and permitted three goals in only one game.

Defensive lapses led to the Cavalier’s initial three goals, the first coming only two minutes into the match. Hikita Chihiro and a teammate swept past a lone defender and ran on GPC goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu, with Chihiro slamming home the goal.

A Jaguar defender’s swing and miss led to another one-on-one on Okechukwu and a goal by Laura Nelson in the 26th minute.

Five minutes later Shenika Williams trapped a long pass in the penalty box and scored—yet again one-on-one on the abandoned Okechukwu—giving the Cavaliers an ominous 3-0 lead at halftime.

The Jaguars and coach Bruno Kaloni, back right, display the runner-up trophy, held by team co-captain Alex Truitt.

To the Jaguars’ credit, they settled down in the second half, staving off the relentless Darton attack until 2:49 remained on the scoreboard. That’s when Kimberly Truetel drove a phenomenal power shot into the net from nearly 40 yards out.

Darton and GPC have battled for the championship three straight seasons. Last year the Cavaliers won 4-2 and went on to finish second at nationals in Melbourne. In 2010 the Jaguars won on penalty kicks and placed third at the national tournament in Topeka, Kansas.

The Jaguars received the 2012 tournament runner-up trophy from GCAA commissioner David Elder in Saturday’s postgame ceremony.

GPC missed injured freshman midfielder Stephanie Guiterrez, who tried to play off the bench but had to leave the field after several minutes. Guiterrez, the team’s fourth leading scorer and key playmaker, was injured in Friday’s semifinal victory over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

“We don’t make excuses, but we missed Stephanie’s leadership on the field,” Kalonji said. “We had several injuries and not a deep bench.”

He added: “But we’re a very young team and show a lot of promise for getting to nationals next year.”

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October 26, 2012

Jaguars advance to GCAA championship game

Despite a sluggish performance, Georgia Perimeter College was pulled to safety by Rachael Schmidt and Vanessa Alexander as the Jaguars defeated Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 3-2 in overtime Friday at the conference semifinals in Albany.

Schmidt scored the winning goal in overtime, and Alexander kept the team alive in the second half with two tying goals.

The victory sends Georgia Perimeter (16-0) into the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association championship match on Saturday at 2 p.m. against perennial rival Darton State College on the Cavaliers’ home field. The No. 2 seeded Cavaliers (12-0) defeated third-seeded South Georgia College 3-1 in Friday’s second semifinal.

Fourth-seeded Abraham Baldwin, finishing the season 11-8-1, put up a fight after the Fillies had to go into double overtime and penalty kicks Tuesday to down Middle Georgia College 2-2 (4-3 PK) to advance to the semis.

GPC dominated possession throughout the first half, displaying its trademark disciplined offense and midfield ball control that kept ABAC out of its attack zone.

For the third time this season, the Jaguars shut down the GCAA’s leading scorer, Nikita Morris, who has 34 goals, seven assists and 75 points. She’s ranked second in goal-scoring in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

But with 3:34 on the clock in the first half, a defender took Morris down inside the penalty box, and Rebecca Russell drove the penalty kick past GPC goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu. The Fillies took the 1-0 lead into intermission.

In the second half, ABAC stacked the defense, but Alexander and the Jaguars kept pounding away. In the 66th minute, Alexander received a pass at the top of the box, ran down the near left side, did fancy footwork to shake a defender and kicked in a goal to knot the match at 1-1.

One minute and seven seconds later, Kim Rivers put ABAC right back on top. She took a nice cross from the right and launched a shot from 10 yards out that Okechukwu dived and stopped. But Okechukwu landed with the ball partly over the goal line, and it was ruled a goal.

The Jaguars regained possession domination. In the 75th minute, Alexander trapped a pass inside the penalty box, dribbled deftly through a crowd and slipped the ball inside the right post for the tying goal that eventually sent the match into overtime.

Less than two minutes into overtime, Schmidt made quick work of a crowd of defenders in the box, and she also guided the ball from about seven yards out into a narrow gap just inside the left post for the game-winning goal.

Schmidt and Alexander both upped their season point total to 33, tied for third highest in the GCAA.

Part of GPC’s sluggish performance may be attributed to the injury of freshman midfielder Stephanie Guiterrez. Limping off the field after a collision less than two minutes into the game, Gutierrez is an excellent playmaker with 22 points on seven goals and eight assists. Her availability for Sunday’s match is unknown.

GPC will have its hands full Sunday with defending champion Darton, which excelled at last year’s nationals, finishing in second place. GPC beat Darton 1-0 in September and again 4-2 in October.

This marks the third consecutive year that Darton and Georgia Perimeter have met for the championship trophy. GPC won in 2010, defeating the Cavaliers on penalty kicks, and finished third at the national tournament.

Last season’s result was less dramatic, as Darton downed the Jaguars 4-2 in the title game.

To watch Sunday’s 2 p.m. championship match online, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.” Robert Williamson and David Elder will call the action for Jockjive.com.

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October 25, 2012

Jaguar Journal: GPC enters region tourney as favorite

Carrying a 15-0 record to the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament can have its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand is confidence, on the other is motivation for opponents.

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars enter Friday’s GCAA semifinals at Darton State College in Albany as the top seed and ranked No. 10 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll.

The Jaguars have completed the program’s first undefeated, untied regular season and its third consecutive regular season without a loss. The 2010 and 2011 teams had ties in their regular seasons but no losses.

So, head coach Bruno Kalonji and the Jaguars know that the other three tournament teams will be fired up to play them. But they go in with confidence.

“Playing teams three times—twice during the regular season and again in the region tournament—isn’t easy,” Kalonji said. “We don’t know what will happen. But this team has a good chance in the postseason.”

Top-seeded Georgia Perimeter plays fourth-seeded Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College at 4 p.m. Friday at the Darton stadium. In a thrilling quarterfinal match Tuesday ABAC defeated Middle Georgia College 2-2 (4-3 on penalty kicks) to advance to the semis.

Host Darton, the No. 2 seed, will face No. 3 South Georgia College, 5-0 winner over Gordon College in Tuesday’s other quarterfinal.

Abraham Baldwin (11-7-1) features the league’s leading scorer, Nikita Morris, who has 34 goals, seven assists and 75 points. She scored both goals in ABAC’s PK win Tuesday over Middle Georgia. She’s scored five goals in one game, four goals three times and three goals twice.

But the Jaguar defense kept Morris from scoring in the home-and-away series during the regular season. GPC won 3-0 in Tifton and 7-2 at home. Kaitlyn Grahame and Rebecca Russell scored the two goals for the Fillies.

The Jaguars have the league’s second, third and fourth top scorers. Freshman forward Kacey McInerney ranks second with 44 points on 21 goals and two assists; freshman midfielder Rachael Schmidt has 31 points, 13 goals and five assists; and sophomore forward Vanessa Alexander has 29 points, nine goals and 11 assists.

Darton’s and South Georgia’s defenses have been the stingiest in the conference, allowing only nine goals each over the season. Georgia Perimeter’s defense has given up only 10, while ABAC has allowed 28.

Jaguar goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu ranks second in the league in goals against, having given up 10 strikes. South Georgia’s Courtisha Ebanks is first in that category, allowing only nine goals. ABAC’s Amanda Biondino has given up 21, while Darton’s Tori Danchak has allowed 12.

In addition to defense, the Jaguars’ strength all season has been ball control. They play a patient possession game right out of the playbooks. The result is a balanced attack that’s hard to cover. Fourteen players have scored.

“They’re not impressed with winning games,” Kalonji said. “They’re impressed with playing great and winning games.”

JAGUAR JOLTS: To view the tournament brackets, both men and women, click here. … The semifinal games and Saturday’s 2 p.m. championship match will be video webcast live by Jockjive.com. To watch the games, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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October 17, 2012

Jaguars make history: unbeaten, untied,
a first for GPC women’s soccer program

Never has a Georgia Perimeter College women’s soccer team completed a regular season schedule undefeated and untied—until now.

Emily May and Erin Baker scored second-half goals, Vanessa Alexander assisted both and the defense earned its ninth shutout as the Jaguars bested South Georgia College 2-0 Wednesday at Hallford Stadium.

The regular season conference champion, Georgia Perimeter enters the postseason tournament with a 15-0 record, 14-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

“I’m so proud of this team. This is our first perfect regular season ever,” said head coach Bruno Kalonji. “And we’ve gone three seasons in a row undefeated [but with ties in 2010 and 2011].”

South Georgia (10-4, 9-4 GCAA) slides into third place in the GCAA, behind Darton State College (10-5, 10-3).

The Tigers’ back line and freshman goalkeeper Courtisha Ebanks put up a defensive dogfight, turning back the Jaguar attack time and again. The score at halftime was 0-0.

But in the 51st minute May—a freshman midfielder who came off the bench—took a pass from Alexander at about 32 yards straight out and blasted a power drive that soared over Ebanks’ gloves and into the net just under the crossbar.

The outcome remained in doubt—as South Georgia stepped up its offense—until Baker’s goal in the 87th minute. In a scramble, Alexander forced Ebanks to come out of the net near the top of the eighteen yard line and passed to the left side to Baker.

With a quick burst, Baker, a freshman wingman, ran on an open goal. As Ebanks and a defender reached her, she booted a slow roller that meandered inside the left post for the insurance goal.

In a pregame Sophomore Day ceremony, the Jaguar freshmen and coaches gave roses and applause to their three sophs—Alexander, Stephanie Iotova and Jennifer Gonzalez. Gonzalez and the midfield, along with the defense—Iotova, Caroline Haaland, Alex Truitt, Iris Gonzalez and goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu—mostly stifled the South Georgia offense. It was the second time they stopped the Tigers’ high-scoring Tiffany Morris, but Morris has been hampered with an injury in the latter part of the season.

In a development earlier Wednesday, the Jaguars inexplicably fell from seventh place to No. 12 in the National Junior College Athletic Association coaches poll.

At the GCAA tournament Oct. 26-27 on Darton’s home field in Albany, GPC will command the top seed. That means receiving a bye into the semifinals, along with the second-place team. In the Friday semifinals the Jaguars will meet the winner of a play-in match next Tuesday between the league’s No. four and No. 5 finishers.

“I think this team has a great chance in the postseason,” Kalonji said. “We’ve had more of a balanced team this year than ever. This makes a big difference.”

The Oct. 26-27 GCAA championship tournament will be video webcast live by iHigh.com To watch the games, visit www.gpc.edu/atlhletic and click on the links under “Game Webcasts.”.

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October 14, 2012

No. 7 Jaguars edge No. 19 Cape Fear 4-3

Freshman midfielder Kacey McInerney scored three goals to lead Georgia Perimeter College, ranked seventh in the nation, over No. 19 Cape Fear Community College 4-3 Sunday at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

It was the first time Georgia Perimeter (14-0) gave up three goals in a match, but the offense countered with a deliberate, patient, skilled attack.

“I’m impressed with our high-level possession in the last three games,” said GPC head coach Bruno Kalonji. “It makes a world of difference for the strikers. The midfield is very stable at this point.”

The Jaguars wrap up the regular season schedule Wednesday, hosting South Georgia College, the second-place team in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. Last month GPC beat the Tigers 2-1 in overtime. With a victory Wednesday, the Jaguars would complete their third consecutive regular season without a loss, which already is a record for the college’s athletic programs.

Cape Fear (12-2-1), on a weekend road trip from the team’s campus in Wilmington, N.C., lost 4-1 at Spartanburg Methodist College Saturday in a Carolina Junior College Conference match. The Sea Devils missed several key players on the trip, including Jodi Barber, fourth leading goal scorer in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Despite Barber’s absence, the visitors pressured GPC’s defense, especially in the second half, keeping the outcome in doubt to the end.

“They were a challenge for us,” Kalonji said.

Lauren Smith scored for Cape Fear amid heavy traffic in the 74th minute to make the score a dicey 4-3.

Soon after, Smith made a run on Jaguar goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu, booming the apparent tie-breaker toward the goal’s left corner. But Okechukwu dove to her left and made a brilliant fingertip save that preserved the winning margin.

McInerney began her hat trick eight minutes into the game with a picturesque double assist, initiated by Stephanie Gutierrez’s pass from the right side that was bouncing out of bounds beyond the left post. Vanessa Alexander did a bicycle kick beyond the end line, flipping a perfect short pass to McInerney, who scored easily.

Just three minutes later, Cape Fear’s Alex Duty produced a bending corner kick that Jaguar goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu punched away, but Jamie Berti trapped it close in and tied the score with a one-touch goal.

The Sea Devils seized a 2-1 lead a mere four minutes later when Amanda Fenton unleashed a 30-yard direct kick from straight out that sailed into the upper shelf.

Then McInerney received another long pass deep in the penalty box, faked a defender to the right and dribbled left to slip the ball past keeper Kerinn Hall in the 24th minute. The teams took the halftime break knotted at 2-2.

Ten minutes into the second half, the visitors’ Haley Laurie blocked a shot attempt by McInerney. In the scramble inside the box, the ball found its way to Vanessa Alexander, who booted it in to give Georgia Perimeter a 3-2 lead.

McInerney completed her hat trick with a left-footed power shot that hit the back of the upper right net for a two-goal margin that Smith later shaved to one.

Despite the first questionable defensive performance of the season, Kalonji seemed optimistic as the Jags head into Wednesday’s final match before the GCAA tournament Oct. 26-27.

“We’re really coming together in terms of attitude and unity,” Kalonji said. “Our best days are coming.”

Wednesday’s final regular season match will be played at Hallford Stadium, next to GPC’s Clarkston Campus, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, Ga., 30021.

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October 12, 2012

Jaguars remain undefeated at 13-0

Strikers came from all directions as five Jaguars scored in Georgia Perimeter College’s 7-2 conference victory over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Friday at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

Sophomore forward Vanessa Alexander had a goal and three assists, while four freshmen scored for the Jaguars, who improved their perfect season to 13-0 overall and 13-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Freshmen Kacey McInerney and Stephanie Gutierrez scored two goals apiece and classmates Erin Baker and Rachael Schmidt each tallied one. Baker added an assist to her point total for the night.

Georgia Perimeter, ranked seventh in the nation, next has a showdown with No. 19 Cape Fear Community College Sunday at 11 a.m. at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

The hosts launched 22 shots on goal, while Abraham Baldwin (10-7, 6-7 GCAA) managed only four SOGs against the GPC defense. Jaguar goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu had two saves.

But the Fillies found the net twice in the first half, first on a goal by Kaitlyn Grahame in the 13th minute and then another by Rebecca Russell in the 34th. Both strikes were unassisted.

The teams scored four goals in the span of five minutes early in the first half. Baker opened the scoring in the 12th minute with an assist by Alexander. Grahame tied it in the the 13th; McInerney scored in the same minute and Schmidt struck in the 16th to give the Jags a 3-1 lead that would hold.

After Russell cut the lead to one, Alexander took an assist from Baker to put GPC on top at the half 4-2.

The second half was all Georgia Perimeter with goals by Gutierrez in the 49th minute, McInerney two minutes later and Gutierrez in the 63rd, assisted by Alexander.

Sunday’s Cape Fear game will be audio webcast, with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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October 12, 2012

Jaguar Journal: Formula for 12-0 record;
Lady Jags mix teamwork and ball control

They haven’t lost a regular season game in three years. On Oct. 20, 2009, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars fell to visiting Young Harris College 1-0. They’ve won or tied every regular season match since then, losing only in postseason play.

Gutierrez

Alexander

Schmidt

McInerney

If the 2012 edition of Jaguar women’s soccer revives memories of the 2010 team, which finished in third place at nationals with a 22-1-2 record, and the 2011 team (13-1-2), that’s because the current Jaguars are performing similar feats.

Going into the final three regular season games, the Jaguars are ranked seventh in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll with a 12-0 record.

They have clinched the regular season championship of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. They’ve racked up eight shutouts. They’ve outscored opponents 52-5.

I. Gonzalez

Iotova

Okechukwu

Truitt

All with only two sophomores on the roster. The lone returnee is fullback Stefani Iotova (Duluth, Duluth H.S.), and forward Vanessa Alexander (Toronto, Canada, Richview Collegiate Institute) transferred from Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo.

“This is a very young team,” said head coach Bruno Kalonji, who has built the program into a major national contender in his five years at the helm.

“We don’t have superstars like Esther [Anyanwu] and Taiwo [Adeshigbin], but we have a very balanced roster. They all came here with an excellent technical understanding of the game, so it was easy to transition them into our style of play.”

Dobeck

Baker

Haaland

Adeshigbin broke the school career scoring record in 2010, and Anyanwu set the new record in 2011, 169 points on 74 goals and 21 assists.

Those offenses were centered around the two high-scoring strikers. “This team,” Kalonji notes, “has eight or nine players who can score any time.”

Nine players have scored goals and 15 have points in the book.

Leading the attack is forward Kacey McInerney (Alpharetta, West Forsyth H.S.) and midfielder/forward Rachael Schmidt (Snellville, Brookwood H.S.). McInerney is second top goal scorer in the GCAA with 16 (and one assist for 33 points) and Schmidt is fourth with 12 (five assists, 29 points).

Alexander, a forward, follows in points (seven goals, five assists, 19 points). She had an excellent freshman year at Laramie County with 23 points on eight goals and seven assists.

Midfielder/forward Stephanie Gutierrez (Lilburn, Parkview H.S.) was involved in every strike—a goal and three assists—in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Georgia Military College. Her season total is five goals, seven assists, 17 points.

Another Lilburn-Parkview product, midfielder Erin Baker has 12 points on four goals and four assists. Note: four starters are from Parkview. That’s 36 percent of the starting 11.

The very dominating midfield also includes Jennifer Gonzalez (Washington Heights, N.Y., Georgia Washington H.S.) and Courtney Dobeck (Houston, Ga., Mill Creek H.S.).

“We have great ball control in the middle,” Kalonji said. “We use possession to our advantage. We tire them out and then explode in the second half.”

The defense has been virtually a brick wall. The back line consists of sweeper and captain Alex Truitt (Lilburn, Parkview H.S.), outside fullbacks Iris Gonzalez (Lilburn, Parkview) and Stefani Iotova (Duluth, Duluth H.S.).

The stopper in front of them, Caroline Haaland (Gray, Tenn., Danielle Boone H.S.), doesn’t let much get back to them. She and the back line reset the attack with masterful precision.

“Carrie handles the ball the way I like,” Kalonji said. “Alex is a stud. Also Iris and Stefani. They get the offense going.”

The back line allows little to get to goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu. She’s had to make only 40 saves, which ranks her fifth among keepers in the conference. But she’s second in goals against average, 0.62, a measure of how many goals are scored per 90 minutes of play.

“Rose stepped in when Taylor Strickland tore her ACL in practice after the second game,” said assistant coach Shawn Wash, who trains the keepers. “She’s done a fantastic job under the circumstances, performed at a high level of competition. She’s good at coming out of the box.”

Others providing the Jaguars with depth are defenders Olivia Sabina (Lawrenceville, Archer H.S.), Emily May (Kennesaw, North Cobb H.S.) and Sara Marks (Alpharetta, Chattahoochee H.S.); and midfielders Phuong Vo (Clarkesville, Habersham Central H.S.), Sable Thompson (Monroe, George Walton Academy) and Diana Sandoval (Cumming, South Forsyth H.S.).

Others breaking into the scoring column are Dobeck (two goals, two assists, six points), Truitt (two-one-five), Haaland (three assists), May (one goal), Sabina (two assists),Vo, Iotova, Thompson, Jennifer Gonzalez and Iris Gonzalez (one assist each).

Sunday features two undefeated nationally ranked teams at the Dunwoody field. The No. 7 Jaguars host No. 19 Cape Fear (N.C.) Community College (9-0) at 11 a.m. The game will be audio broadcast online, with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Also to be webcast is the Wednesday, Oct. 17, match with South Georgia College. It is Sophomore Day and the festivities begin online at 2:50 p.m. and the kickoff is at 3 p.m.

JAGUAR JOLTS: As the GCAA regular season champion, Georgia Perimeter gets the most favorable draw in the GCAA tournament to be held Oct. 26-27 at Darton State College in Albany. … Because major renovations to their home field are incomplete, the Jaguars have been playing matches at Hallford Stadium, next to GPC’s Clarkston Campus, and at Dunwoody Campus, where the men’s team plays. … McInerney’s brother, Jack McInerney, plays for the Philadelphia Union in the MLS. Also a forward, like his sister, he turned pro right after high school and has seven goals and two assists this season. … Former Jaguar forward Valeria De Santiago attended Wednesday’s match along with her current coach, Domenic Martelli of Georgia Gwinnett College (5-4-1 in NAIA play). De Santiago is having a good junior year at GGC with a goal and six assists. Former midfielder Blake DiSpigna also plays for the Grizzlies, and she has a goal and two assists. … Adeshigbin is in her senior year at Missouri (11-2), which is playing its first season in the SEC. The tall forward has six goals and one assist for 13 points and had three shots on goal when the Tigers visited the University of Georgia Sept. 28 and won 2-1. She compiled 163 points for GPC with 66 goals and 31 assists.

The Jaguars’ Friday and Sunday games will be played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, GA, 30338.

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October 10, 2012

Gutierrez and defense shine as Jaguars clinch first place

Freshman midfielder Stephanie Gutierrez scored a goal and handed out three assists as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars downed Georgia Military College 4-0 Wednesday at Hallford Stadium.

With the victory, their eighth shutout, the Jaguars clinched the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular season championship and the coveted top seed in the conference tournament Oct. 26-27. They are 12-0 overall and 12-0 in the GCAA, three wins ahead of second-place South Georgia College, which has only two games remaining.

Georgia Military (3-8, 4-10) faced a nearly impenetrable defense, led by sweeper Alex Truitt, outside fullbacks Iris Gonzalez and Stefani Iotova and stopper Caroline Haaland.

“Our defense has been outstanding all season,” said GPC head coach Bruno Kalonji. “They’re very coachable. What you see in games is what we do in practice.”

The Jaguars have outscored opponents 52-5.

Gutierrez factored in every Jaguar goal Wednesday. In the 32nd minute, she passed the ball from 10 yards straight out to Vanessa Alexander near the goal mouth. Alexander rolled it on the turf past a defender and the goalkeeper for a 1-0 Jaguar lead.

Three minutes later, Gutierrez dribbled down the middle and scored unassisted to give the Jaguars a 2-0 edge at halftime.

Five minutes into the second half, Gutierrez dribbled down the right side, passed into the penalty box and assisted freshman forward Kacey McInerny, who tallied from seven yards out.

In the 65th minute, Gutierrez again passed into the box from the right side and Rachael Schmidt got behind the last defender for a one-on-one run on the goal, booming it in from eight yards out.

“We didn’t possess the ball so well in the first half,” Kalonji said, “But once we got going in the second half with a high level of possession, you can see what happens. Everyone played well, good ball control.”

Jaguar goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu had a light day, but GMC’s keeper, Caitlin Thompson kept busy, saving eight of 12 shots the Jags sent on goal.

Friday, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College visits Georgia Perimeter for a 4 p.m. game at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

Sunday features two undefeated nationally ranked teams at the Dunwoody field. The Jaguars are No. 7 in the NJCAA poll, while their guest, Cape Fear (N.C.) Community College (9-0), is ranked 19th.

That 11 a.m. match will be audio broadcast online, with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The Jaguars’ Friday and Sunday games will be played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, GA, 30338.

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October 5, 2012

Jaguars roll on, improve record to 11-0

Vanessa Alexander netted two goals and an assist as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars remained undefeated with a 4-1 victory at Middle Georgia College Friday in Cochran.

Leading 2-1 at halftime, Alexander’s goal in the 53rd minute essentially put the game out of reach. The assist went to Stephanie Gutierrez. Alexander also scored in the first period with an assist by Courtney Dobek.

Georgia Perimeter, 11-0 overall and in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, and ranked sixth in the nation, hosts Georgia Military College Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Dobek scored the first goal of the game in the 26th minute with Rachael Schmidt earning an assist. Dobek’s first goal then put GPC up 2-0, but Brooke Leizear scored with two minutes remaining to keep Middle Georgia (6-5-2, 4-5-1) close at the intermission.

GPC’s top scorer, freshman forward Kacey McInerney, iced the game with Alexander’s assist in the 68th minute.

The Jaguar defense and goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu had shut out the Warriors last month at GPC. Still, the airtight back line allowed only two shots on goal, one saved by Okechukwu. The Jags took 15 shots on goal.

Friday’s home match with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Sunday’s with Cape Fear Community College (N.C.) will be audio webcast. To listen to the broadcasts, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under "Game Webcasts."

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October 3, 2012

Jaguars ranked No. 6 in nation; down GMC on the road

Wednesday was an eventful day for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s soccer team. The Jaguars defeated Georgia Military College 4-1 in Milledgeville and then on the bus learned that they had stormed onto the national scene.

Earlier in the day, the National Junior College Athletic Association released its weekly coaches poll, and it lists the previously unranked Jaguars in a sixth-place tie with Butler Community College of El Dorado, Kansas.

The polls make a difference for teams that reach the 12-team NJCAA national tournament in November because top-ranked teams play the lower seeded teams in the first rounds.

But the more immediate news, another conference victory, was made possible Wednesday with goals by Kacey McInerney, Stephanie Gutierrez, Vanessa Alexander and Rachael Schmidt.

The win gives Georgia Perimeter a 10-0 overall record and a 10-0 mark in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Midway through the first period, McInerney scored with an assist by Erin Baker. In the 27th minute, Gutierrez scored unassisted to give the Jaguars a 2-0 lead at the intermission.

Georgia Military (3-8, 2-6) battled the Jaguars for 14 minutes in the second half, but in the 59th minute Alexander struck
to provide a three-goal cushion.

However, GMC didn’t give up, and two minutes later Allie Schnecker narrowed the Jags’ advantage to 3-1 with an unassisted goal.

In the 87th minute, Schmidt kicked in an unassisted goal to finish the scoring.

GPC goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu saved four of the five shots on goal taken by the Bulldogs. At the other end of the field, the Jags released 14 shots on goal.

Friday the Jaguars travel to Middle Georgia College in Cochran for a 4 p.m. match. Middle Georgia (6-4-2, 4-4-1) ranks fifth in the GCAA standings. GPC edged the Warriors 1-0 at Hallford Stadium two weeks ago.

Georgia Perimeter’s next home game will be next Monday at 3 p.m. against Georgia Military.

The two home games after that—Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on Oct. 12 and Cape Fear Community College (N.C.) on Oct. 14—will be audio webcast. To listen to the broadcasts, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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October 2, 2012

Seventh shutout for undefeated Jaguars

Eight Jaguars scored goals and 11 players collected points as league-leading Georgia Perimeter College downed Andrew College
11-0 Friday at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston.

Kacey McInerney, Courtney Dobeck and Alex Truitt scored two goals apiece as the Jaguars maintained their lead in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 9-0 record. They also are 9-0 overall.

The Georgia Perimeter defense permitted only one shot on goal in posting its seventh shutout of the season. Three Jags tended goal—Phuong Vo (60 minutes), McInerney (15) and Rachael Schmidt (15). Vo earned the lone save.

Rachael Schmidt tallied a goal and handed out two assists, while Erin Baker had a goal and an assist. Others scoring a goal were Vanessa Alexander, Emily May and Stephanie Gutierrez.

Also credited with assists were Stefani Iotova and Sable Thompson. GPC pelted the Fighting Tigers (0-12, 0-10 GCAA) with 29 shots on goal.

McInerney struck in the second minute to start off the assault, and Alexander and Schmidt followed with goals in the 11th and 14th minutes. GPC led 7-0 at halftime. The Jaguars have outscored opponents 40-3 on the season.

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September 28, 2012

Jaguars post sixth shutout with 3-0 victory at ABAC

The Georgia Perimeter College defense did it again. For the second consecutive year, the Jaguars shut down the nation’s leading goal scorer.

They stopped Nikita Morris and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural 3-0 in a Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association match Friday in Tifton.

Morris, a freshman from England, leads the National Junior College Athletic Association in goals (29) and is second in total points (63).

Last season ABAC’s Melissa Johnson, also from England, was leading the NJCAA in scoring when the Jaguars blanked the Fillies 2-0.

The stone wall also known as the Jaguar defense was so tight that goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu had to save only four shots on goal. It is Georgia Perimeter’s sixth shutout of the season.

Georgia Perimeter (8-0, 8-0 GCAA) struck in the fifth minute when freshman midfielder Stephanie Gutierrez scored on an assist from Vanessa Alexander.

But ABAC (8-4, 4-4) settled down and held the Jags scoreless for the next 83 minutes, so the game wasn’t as lopsided as the score would indicate.

GPC scored twice in the last minute and a half. In the 89th minute freshman forward Kacey McInerney scored on a quick free kick outside of the box, and Alexander scored unassisted in the final seconds.

The Jaguars, who have outscored opponents 29-3, bombarded ABAC with 21 shots on goal.

Tuesday the Jaguars continue GCAA action, hosting Andrew College at 3 p.m. Because the Jaguars’ home soccer field in Clarkston is being renovated, the game is scheduled to be played on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

Temporarily, the Jaguars’ home soccer games are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, GA, 30338.

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September 24, 2012

Baker’s two goals and assist help Jags to win over Darton

Erin Baker collected two goals and an assist to lead Georgia Perimeter College to a 4-2 win over Darton College Monday at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

After the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association rivals battled to a scoreless first-half tie, Baker received a pass from Vanessa Alexander and broke the ice with a goal in the 50th minute.

Georgia Perimeter (7-0, 7-0 GCAA) must have felt some relief because the Jaguars defeated their conference rivals two weeks ago in Albany with a lone second-half strike.

But Darton (4-5, 4-3) answered in the very next minute with an unassisted goal by Stephanie Anes.

Baker put GPC back in the lead with her own unassisted goal in the 65th minute. Another strike again came a minute later when she assisted a goal by Rachael Schmidt.

In the 75th minute, Olivia Sabina scored with an assist from Vanessa Alexander to put the game out of Darton’s reach.

Laura Nelson scored a goal for the Cavaliers with less than five minutes remaining. Madison Diaz was credited with an assist.

Darton took nine shots on goal, and GPC keeper Rose Okechukwu saved seven.

Friday the Jaguars travel to Tifton for a 4 p.m. match with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The next home game will be on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with Andrew College at 3 p.m. That game is tentatively scheduled to be played on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus men’s soccer field because renovation of the women’s field on in Clarkston is not completed.

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September 18, 2012

Jaguars roll on with 5th shutout

Kacey McInerney scored the game’s lone goal and goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu earned her third shutout as Georgia Perimeter College defeated visiting Middle Georgia College 1-0 Tuesday at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston.

Midway through the first half, McInerney took a nice combination pass from fellow freshman Rachael Schmidt and netted the game-winner from inside the penalty box.

Georgia Perimeter remains undefeated at 6-0, all Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association victories. Middle Georgia, clearly a league contender, slips to 5-2 overall, 3-2 in the GCAA.

Okechukwu, playing only her third career game in goal, stopped all five shots by the Warriors. She replaced the Jaguars’ regular keeper, Taylor Strickland, who was sidelined with an injury earlier this month.

“Rose is an excellent midfielder and forward,” said GPC head coach Bruno Kalonji. “But she’s moved into the goal for the team and has done an outstanding job.”

Posting its fifth shutout, the back line withstood much pressure from Middle Georgia’s offense, which received some praise from Kalonji.

“They were very aggressive. They really produced some good combinations. But our defense has been exceptional all season.”

The Jaguars get some welcome rest until next Monday’s home match with Darton College.

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September 14, 2012

Jaguars nip South Georgia in overtime

It was a showdown of the two teams sitting atop the conference standings, and Georgia Perimeter College prevailed in overtime.

GPC defeated South Georgia College 2-1 with a goal by Kacey McInerney in the 95th minute Friday at Douglas, and the Jaguars took the driver’s seat in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Technically, South Georgia remains in first place with a 6-1 record, having more wins than Georgia Perimeter, which is 5-0 overall and in the league. But the victory gives the Jaguars a big home-field advantage because the teams next meet on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at GPC—a long bus trip from the Tigers’ Douglas campus.

McInerney’s goal was a hard strike that hit the top post and bounced inside the goal line. Caroline Haaland earned an assist on the play.

South Georgia scored first on a free kick over a GPC wall by Taylor Rushworth in the 37th minute. It was the first goal scored on Georgia Perimeter this season and the first on goalkeeper Rose Okechukwu after she saved 16 shots on goal in her first two games.

In the 75th minute, the Jaguars’ left wing, Erin Baker, tied the game and sent it into overtime with an unassisted goal.

GPC’s defense dominated, allowing only four shots on goal, and Okechukwu made three saves. The Jaguar attack sent 12 shots at Tiger goalkeeper Courtisha Ebanks, who had 10 saves.

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September 11, 2012

Schmidt nets hat trick as Jags get 4th straight shutout

Rachael Schmidt scored three goals and the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars remained unscored-upon as they hammered Gordon College 4-0 Tuesday at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

Rose Okechukwu earned her second shutout in her second career stint as goalkeeper. She faced seven shots on goal and saved them all.

Georgia Perimeter remains atop the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 4-0 record in the conference, and the Jaguars are 4-0 overall. Gordon drops to 0-5 with one tie, 0-3-1 in the GCAA.

Schmidt opened the scoring in the 13th minute with an assist by Vanessa Alexander. With seven minutes remaining in the first half, Kacey McInerney scored, assisted by Jennifer Gonzalez, and the Jaguars led 2-0 at the intermission.

Schmidt again struck in the 53rd minute, and Erin Baker earned the assist. Seven minutes later Schmidt completed the hat trick with an unassisted goal.

The Jaguars launched 11 shots on goal, and Highlander goalie Angel Baker saved seven.

GPC also shut out Gordon 5-0 on August 24 in the season opener at Barnesville.

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September 7, 2012

Alexander’s goal sends Jaguars past rival Cavaliers 1-0

Vanessa Alexander scored the game-winner in the second half and Rose Okechukwu had a splendid goalkeeper debut as Georgia Perimeter College defeated defending conference champion Darton College 1-0 Friday in Albany.

Off a corner kick, Kacie McInerney turned and passed to Alexander inside the penalty box. Alexander drove the ball into the net, and the Jaguars celebrated.

With the victory, Georgia Perimeter’s third shutout in as many games, the Jaguars improve to 3-0 overall and in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Okechukwu, a midfielder-forward, played the goalkeeper position for the first time in her career and earned the shutout with nine saves on nine shots on goal. She replaced keeper Taylor Strickland, who was injured in practice.

GPC head coach Bruno Kalonji praised Okechukwu, along with the midfielders and defenders.

“Our defense is very well organized. They’re aggressive—they’re patient.”

Darton (2-3, 2-2) and the Jaguars have dominated the conference in recent years. In 2010 GPC beat the Cavaliers for the GCAA championship and went on to finish third at the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament in Kansas.

Darton defeated GPC last year for the league title and was runner-up at the nationals in Florida. This year the Cavs were ranked third in the NJCAA’s national coaches preseason poll, but they lost their first two games, to South Georgia College and Polk State College (Fla.).

“It’s going to be a battle with Darton this season,” Kalonji said. “It always is.”

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August 31, 2012

McInerney scores 4 goals; Schmidt adds 3 in romp

Kacey McInerney tallied the first four goals for Georgia Perimeter College and Rachael Schmidt netted the last three as the Jaguars defeated Andrew College 9-0 Friday in Cuthbert.

Courtney Dobeck and Stephanie Gutierrez each added a strike for GPC, which improves to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA.

Goalkeeper Taylor Strickland registered her second shutout of the season, but credit the Georgia Perimeter defenders and midfielders—they didn’t allow Andrew a shot on goal.

Meanwhile, the Jaguar attack bombarded Andrew keeper Danielle Morgan with 31 shots. She saved 22.

Caroline Haaland assisted two goals for GPC. Also earning assists were Courtney Dobeck, Iris Gonzalez and Alex Truitt. Two of Schmidt’s goals and one of McInerney’s were unassisted.

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August 24, 2012

McInerney’s hat trick leads Jaguars in opener

Kacey McInerney scored the first three goals for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars as they won their women’s soccer season opener Friday at Gordon College 5-0.

Rachael Schmidt added the last two goals for Georgia Perimeter, and Stephanie Gutierrez had three assists, two for Schmidt and one for McInerney. Phuong Vo earned an assist for McInerney’s second goal, and the first strike was unassisted.

The Jaguar defense held the Highlanders to only one shot-on-goal, which Taylor Strickland saved. Meanwhile, the offense bombarded Gordon’s goalkeeper, Angel Baker, with 18 shots-on-goal.

The game was also the opener for both teams in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

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