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Grizzlies battle Emmanuel to 1-1 tie

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Senior Tom Butler scored his sixth goal of the season and the Georgia Gwinnett College men's soccer team earned a hard-fought 1-1 tie with Emmanuel College on Saturday.

The teams played two periods of overtime, but neither side could break the deadlock.

The Grizzlies (1-0-1) scored with 12 minutes remaining in the first half as Martin Lugo sprung Butler free through the defense. The forward darted in on Lions' goalkeeper Anel Lilic and beat him with a shot to the corner.

GGC took its lead into halftime but Emmanuel (2-0-1) leveled things right out of the break.

Lions leading scorer Jonathan Faile took advantage of an unsettled situation at the top of the Grizzly box and knocked the equalizer over goalkeeper Greg Hartley's head just 25 seconds into the second half.

The teams remained even the rest of the way, though the Grizzlies outshot Emmanuel 15-10.

Harley made three saves in the game, one coming on a point-blank strike from Alex Wright in the 70th minute to keep it level.

The Grizzlies produced a handful of scoring chances in the extra periods, including an Alejandro Duque free kick rifle that was turned away by a diving Lilic.

"Emmanuel asked a lot of us tonight," Grizzlies head coach Steve DeCou said. "They are a good team from a very high-quality conference (Southern States Athletic Conference) and we took their best shot. A draw was certainly not what we were looking for, but we saw some good things tonight and we move forward."

Georgia Gwinnett is back in action next weekend in Savannah, Ga., playing in tournament action against SCAD and St. Francis.