Elon Men’s Soccer Earns Historic NCAA Win Over Winthrop, 3-0

Posted by Press Release on November 20, 2015 at 8:28 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – With the support of over 2,400 fans, the Elon University men’s soccer team secured its first ever NCAA Tournament victory with a 3-0 win over Winthrop on Thursday night, Nov. 19, in the opening round of the national tournament at Rudd Field.

The victory improved the Phoenix to 14-5-1 on the year with the maroon and gold advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. The Eagles’ close out the 2015 campaign with an 11-7-2 record.

James Brace, Eduardo Alvarez and Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler each netted a goal in the contest for the Phoenix. Keeper Matthew Jegier also had a career-high seven saves in his ninth clean sheet of the season.

“It was a really good college soccer game,” said Elon head coach Chris Little. “The crowd was fantastic and thank you to everyone that came out. It was a really good atmosphere, the place was packed and the players really fed off of it. Just really delighted to get the win in the national tournament.”

The Rundown
Elon came out to a 1-0 lead at the 33:14 mark of the match. Brace tallied his sixth score of the season on a sliding shot inside the six-yard box after taking a cross from Jaiden Fortune from the right wing. The shot would be only one of three that the Phoenix would get off on the Winthrop defense in the opening period, as Elon went into the half trailing in the shot battle, 6-3.

Nearly four minutes after the start of the second stanza, Jegier made a couple of saves in both the 49th and the 51st minute as the Eagles turned up the offensive pressure. Winthrop followed with a third try inside the 52nd minute, but Max Hasenstab’s attempt went high.

Alvarez doubled up the Phoenix’s advantage at the 78:22 mark. The Reitoca, Honduras, native took a shot off the top of the 18-yard line that bounced off inside the right post and into the net for his team-leading seventh goal of the year.

A little over seven minutes later, Vandermaas-Peeler put away the match for good. The senior striker played the ball from midfield and maneuvered past the keeper to tack on an easy score and gave the Phoenix the eventual 3-0 win.

Match Notes
• The match was the second NCAA game played on the Phoenix’s home pitch and the first since hosting Clemson in 2013. Elon also advanced to the second round of the NCAA with a 4-1 victory in penalty kicks that season over the Tigers in an official 1-1 tie.
• Winthrop had 20 shots on the match compared to 12 for the Phoenix. The Eagles also had eight shots on target to Elon’s six.
• Both teams were deadlocked in corners, 3-3.
• Jegier’s nine clean sheets is tied for the second most in a single-season in school history along with Nathan Dean (2014).
• Elon improves its overall record in the NCAA Tournament to 1-3-1
• Winthrop allowed its first goals for the first time in four games.

Up Next
Elon travels to Clemson to take on the second-ranked Tigers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 22. That match is slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

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