Elon Men’s Soccer Blanks Saint Mary’s, 1-0

Posted by Press Release on August 31, 2015 at 6:38 am under College | Comments are off for this article

DURHAM, N.C. – Senior Eduardo Alvarez’s goal in the 40th minute aided the Elon University men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Saint Mary’s on Sunday, Aug. 30, on the final day of the John Rennie/Nike Invitational at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium.

The Phoenix improved to 2-0 to open the season for the first time since 2006 with its defeat of the Gaels, who fall to 0-2. This was also the first time Elon has opened the year with two shutout victories since 2005.

“Today wasn’t pretty, but it was all about getting the result we wanted,” said Elon head coach Chris Little. “The guys’ commitment and application was great as it was a tough game and a tough opposition. The guys showed great character and I’m very pleased with the result.”

The Rundown
Alvarez put the Phoenix on the scoreboard in the 40th minute of the contest. The senior from Reitoca, Honduras, played the ball off a cross from first-year striker Jaiden Fortune from the right side and volleyed the ball past the defense. The goal was Alvarez’s second in as many games and gave Elon a 1-0 lead.

The Gaels had an early chance in the beginning of the second stanza to provide the equalizer, but Will Kendall’s shot in the 47th minute hit the crossbar. Elon’s Miguel Salazar tried to give the Phoenix a 2-0 cushion at both the 69th and the 71st minute mark, but his first try went wide and his second attempt was blocked near the top of the box.

Saint Mary’s attacked the maroon and gold defense and keeper Matthew Jegier with a pair of shots in the 86th and 88th minute, but both were turned away by the young netminder as Elon preserved the clean sheet for the second straight match. Jegier ended the afternoon with four saves while playing all 90 minutes between the posts.

Match Notes
– The last time Elon opened the year with two consecutive shutout victories was in 2005. The Phoenix also began that year with a 4-0 win over Mercer and a 1-0 defeat against Fairfield.
– Elon won the shot battle, 15-12, over the Gaels with both teams even with four shots on target.
– Both programs were also deadlocked in corners with six each.
– The match was marred with 39 combined fouls and nine yellow cards issued.
– Freshman forward Jaiden Fortune’s assist was the first of his career.
– Fellow freshman defender Nicholas O’Callaghan earned the start at left outside back in his first collegiate appearance. He along with the entire Phoenix backline of Sam McBride, Nathan Diehl and Jonathan Coleby played the entire 90 minutes in the shutout victory.

Up Next
Elon heads to Wilmington, N.C., for its second early-season tournament of the year, the Wilmington Classic on Sept. 4-6. The Phoenix opens the tournament on Friday, Sept. 4, with a match against in-state rival Campbell at 5 p.m. before closing out the weekend against North Florida on Sunday, Sept. 6 at noon.

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