DAVIDSON – Senior Ali Al-Gashamy scored twice to lead Gardner-Webb to a 3-1 win over Davidson in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (1-0) made the most of their nine shots on the match, finishing well to build an early lead. It marked the first season-opening loss for Davidson (0-1) since 1998.
Severin Soerlie (Drammen, Norway) ended thoughts of a shutout very quickly, scoring off a loss ball in the second minute (2:03) for a 1-0 lead. Countryman Al-Gashamy pushed that margin to 2-0 22 minutes later, curling a shot from 20 yards away just inside the far post. That score came off a free kick.
The Wildcats trimmed the lead to 2-1 just before the break, with Christian Fetcher putting home a Nathan Marder assist in the 44th minute. Gardner-Webb's Matthew Swan turned away a fine Davidson chance just moments earlier.
Al-Gashamy effectively put the match on ice in the 55th minute. The left post was unkind with under five minutes remaining, as Al-Gashamy banged a shot off that spot to just miss a hat trick.
Sami Jilla (Charlotte, N.C.) had the assist on Al-Gashamy's final tally.
Swan (Newport, South Wales) finished with four saves in the match.
Davidson held a sizable edge in shots, posting a 17-9 advantage by the 90-minute mark. The Wildcats also posted an 11-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Gardner-Webb put an impressive seven of nine shots on frame Friday night.
The Runnin' Bulldogs play at Wofford on Friday, September 2. Kickoff is at 7:30 on Snider Field in Spartanburg.