Barnesville, GA - Thursday night the Gordon State Highlanders defended their Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Region 17 championship against the Georgia Military Bulldogs. The 1-0 victory gave the Highlanders their second consecutive region title and capped off a tremendous year within conference play. The Highlanders finished GCAA play with a 12-0-2 record in route to bringing home the best record in the regular season as well as the conference crown.
Both sides began the game with an intensity to match the occasion, battling to gain control of the match. Following the tense opening fifteen minutes, GSC seized control of the match with confident defending and dangerous attacking stretches. The lone goal of the match came in the 23rd minute when Jersie Stephens pounced on a loose ball on the right side of the field and slipped a precise pass to Ashley Hendrix who buried her shot in the back of the net. While the Highlanders threatened the Bulldog's goal on numerous occasions throughout the night, that one goal proved to be enough.
One constant that carried Gordon State through their undefeated run this season has been the outstanding play of their defensive line. Thursday night that backline of Brittany Colangelo, Autume Maxwell, Izzy Vazquez, Kennedy McNab and goalkeeper Brooke Shavers played exceptionally well again in route to the shutout that included refusing to allow the Bulldogs a shot for the final 39 minutes of the match. Led by this quintet, the Highlanders have reeled off six consecutive shutouts to end the season.
By winning the 2019 GCAA championship, GSC has earned the right to host the NJCAA Southeast District tournament Nov. 7-8 in Barnesville. The Highlanders will face an as yet to be determined opponent on Thursday, Nov. 7. Gordon State's 2019 record improved to 16-2-2 with the win Thursday night.