BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Emmanuel's (Ga.) Alex Wright notched a hat trick, pacing the Lions to a 3-2 win over the Union College men's soccer team in NAIA action on Friday afternoon at Burch/Nau Field. The game was the 2013 season opener for the Bulldogs, and a part of the inaugural Thomas Trammell Memorial Classic.
With the loss, Union fell to 0-1, while Emmanuel improved to 1-0.
In the first half, Wright had the only goal for either team, as the Lions went into the half with a 1-0 lead. Wright's goal came in the 38th minute, off a cross from Jonathan Faile.
In the second half, the Bulldogs came out and scored their first goals of the year to grab a lead.
First in the 52nd minute, freshman Alex Smith scored the first goal of his collegiate career from five yards out. Smith played a ball into the box off a Joe Butcher cross from the 25 yard line, tying the game up at one. Union took the lead a few minutes later, as Butcher laced a free kick into the back of the net from 20 yards out in the 59th minute, making it 2-1, Bulldogs.
However, Wright scored twice in 22 seconds in the 67th minute to notch the hat trick and give the Lions the one goal lead. Emmanuel held on to the lead over the final 23 minutes, as the Bulldogs just missed on several scoring chances in the final minutes of the match.
Overall, Emmanuel out shot Union by a 13-11 margin, while the Bulldogs held a 6-5 edge in corner kicks. In goal, Bulldog keepers Juan Gallegos and CJ Hopkins split time in net, making three total saves on the day.
By the Numbers
- Smith, a native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, was impressive in his first collegiate game, scoring a goal on three shots.
- Butcher's goal in the 59th minute was the third of his career, while his assist on Smith's goal was the 13th of his career.
- With the win, Emmanuel defeated Union in their season opener for the second straight season. In 2012, the Lions knocked off the Bulldogs, 3-0.
- Before the match, the Union College program honored Thomas Trammell with a pregame ceremony and moment of silence. The former Bulldog defender (2003-06) and Union 2007 graduate passed away last September at the age of 27.
The Bulldogs close out the 2013 Thomas Trammell Memorial Classic with a match with No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.). Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Burch/Nau Field.