JOHNSON EARNS HAT-TRICK TO LEAD SPARTANS TO SEASON-OPENING WIN

VICTORIA – Trinity Western's Leighton Johnson (Calgary) had three goals and an assist to lead Trinity Western's men's soccer team to a 5-1 win over Victoria Friday in the Spartans Canada West season-opener.

Johnson, who had just two goals all of last year, was dominant from start to finish, as he was in on each of the Spartan final four goals.

After TWU's Jacob Low (Port Moody, B.C.) opened the scoring just over a minute into the contest, the game turned into the Leighton Johnson Show.

The fourth-year striker went to work in the seventh minute, collecting his first on a well-struck ball from the top of the box.

After the Vikes Tarnvir Bhandal struck back for the home side in the 28th minute, Johnson sparked the Spartans response, sending a ball into the box in the 42nd-minute, where Cody Fransen (Lynden, Wash.) got his head to it and put TWU up 3-1.

In the second half, Johnson completed the hat-trick, first scoring from a penalty kick in the 58th minute before a 66th minute strike that saw him bury from 20 yards out to the low left corner.

Johnson's third of the night capped the Spartans most impressive regular season victory in nearly eight years. The five-goal output is the most the Spartans have scored in a single conference contest since Oct. 24, 2009, when they earned a 5-1 win over Saskatchewan.

Prior to Friday, Johnson had scored four goals in the first three years of his Spartans career. He had two goals in each of his last two seasons. The hat-trick also marked his first ever multi-goal game with TWU.

First-year goalkeeper Sebastian Colyn (Langley, B.C.) earned the start, making six saves to backstop the victory. Vikes netminder Jasdeep Lally made one save on the six shots he faced.

The Spartans will now travel to Vancouver for a Saturday night contest against UBC. Kickoff is at 6:30 (PT).

In nine road games last year, the Spartans scored just 11 goals through their regular season campaign.

-TW-

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