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Emily Gray nets hat trick as Hokies down JMU, 3-2

Emily Gray nets hat trick as Hokies down JMU, 3-2

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Box Score HARRISONBURG, Va. – Led by Emily Gray’s hat trick on Thursday evening – the program’s first since 2009 – the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team edged James Madison, 3-2, during the teams’ back-and-forth affair at Sentara Park.
 
Gray’s hat trick marked the Hokies’ 12th such performance to date as she became the 10th different member of the program to achieve the feat. The Tech senior proudly extended her goals streak to three consecutive matches, having netted six goals during the stretch.
 
Avery Tharrington registered her first collegiate point upon playing the touch that led to Gray’s match-opening goal during the 16th minute. Moments later, Nicole Kozlova nearly doubled the Hokies’ lead, despite landing her attempt high off the crossbar.
 
With new legs entering for both sides midway through the opening half, Virginia Tech (4-1-0) conceded the pace of possession to James Madison (1-3-0), allowing the Dukes to equalize. Lexi Vanderlinden one-timed the Hokies’ failed clearance on goal, arcing her tear drop above Alia Skinner and in to level the match at 1-1.
 
Winning a free kick in prime attacking location, Gray stepped back and delivered Tech’s go-ahead goal during the 41st minute. Gray’s strike clinched the fifth multi-goal performance of her career – the most among active Hokies.
 
Despite taking its 2-1 lead into the final half hour, Tech wound up conceding to JMU during the 63rd minute. With the Hokies bidding to clear, Vanderlinden turned and fired through a crowded box to match Gray’s two goals on the scoreboard.
 
However, Tech earned the last laugh two minutes later as Gray drove the match-winning penalty kick goal through – her second during as many matches.
 
The Hokies outshot the Dukes, 16-12, for the match and held the 10-5 edge in shots on target.
 
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Thursday’s match marked the opening contest of this week’s Fairfield by Marriott Invitational, featuring appearances by No. 3 Virginia and No. 9 Santa Clara. Virginia Tech will play No. 9 Santa Clara on Sunday, Sept. 5, at Sentara Park (11 a.m. kickoff).
 

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