BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.- Ali Al-Gashamy recorded his first career hat trick to lead Gardner-Webb to a 4-1 win over VMI Saturday afternoon.
Gardner-Webb (2-4) controlled the balance of possession throughout the match, and outshot VMI (0-5) by a 20-10 margin for the night. The Runnin' Bulldogs put only five of their attempts on frame - scoring with four of them - while VMI managed only three shots on target.
Al-Gashamy paced the Runnin' Bulldog attack with his first career hat trick as the redshirt senior found the back of the net with three of his four attempts. Magnus Moldjord added his first collegiate goal midway through the second half, while Alaiin Delgado and Severin Soerlie were each credited with an assist.
Tyler Colgan accounted for all of VMI's scoring in the match, while Alex Hartman led the team with three shots - including one on frame.
Al-Gashamy opened up the scoring just three minutes into the match, with teammate Alain Delgado chipping a ball over the backline, and setting up Al-Gashamy for the finish into the upper right corner to put GWU up 1-0.
A superb defensive effort by Gardner-Webb in the first half limited VMI to a quiet five shots - only one of which found the frame - as the Runnin' Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Al-Gashamy picked up right where he left off in the first half this time on a penalty kick right down the middle past the diving Keydet keeper. The goal doubled the lead to 2-0 for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
VMI cut the lead in half in the 56th minute, when Colgan gathered the rebound off Hartman's effort and slotted it past the keeper to put the Keydets right back in it. Moldjord restored the Runnin' Bulldogs' two-goal lead in the 69th minute, when Soerlie's one-touch pass put him in prime position to open his collegiate account and give Gardner-Webb a 3-1 advantage.
Al-Gashamy completed the hat trick four minutes later with a curling strike from 25 yards out, which gave Gardner-Webb a 4-1 lead and ensured the victory for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Gardner-Webb will travel to Clemson, S.C. on Tuesday, September 20 to take on ACC foe Clemson in what has become an intriguing home and home series in recent years. Kickoff is set for 6:00 pm.