Elon Men’s Soccer Season Comes to Close in NCAA Tournament

Posted by Press Release on November 23, 2015 at 6:16 am under College | Comments are off for this article

CLEMSON, S.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team fought valiantly, but was unable to overcome a 3-0 deficit as Clemson eliminated the Phoenix in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 22, falling to the Tigers 5-2 at Historic Riggs Field.

The Phoenix concluded its 2015 campaign with a 14-6-1 mark while the Tigers advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 16-2-2 record. Elon scored both its goals in the second half from strikers Jaiden Fortune and Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler in the 48th and 77th minute, respectively.

“I’m just so proud of the players, I think they have had an incredible year,” said Elon head coach Chris Little. “Even today, to play quite well even with two goals down the guys never stopped competing. Their sprit, their will and the sacrifice to play for each other was great. They fought all the way until the end and I’m really proud of that.”

The Rundown
Clemson took a 1-0 lead near the 27th minute. The Tigers’ T.J. Casner took a cross from the left side and scored off a double assist by Iman Mafi and Michael Melvin.

In the 38th minute, Clemson pushed its advantage to 2-0 as Thales Moreno took a turn around shot from about 20 yards out that went into the top left corner. The Phoenix went into the half trailing Clemson in shots, 6-2, and corners 3-1.

Shortly after the start of the second half, the Tigers went up 3-0 after Casner connected on his second score off a scramble after a free kick inside the 47th minute.

The Phoenix would trim into the Tigers’ deficit one minute later. Fortune found himself free one-on-one versus a defender and the keeper after playing a long through ball from Luis Argudo. The rookie took the ball to near the six-yard line and scored to bring Elon within two, 3-1.

Clemson put the game out of reach with its fourth goal of the night. The Tigers’ Saul Chinchilla played the ball off a carom off the left post after a cross and scored from four yards out in the 72nd minute as the Phoenix trailed 4-1.

Vandermaas-Peeler answered in the 77th minute scoring a diagonal goal from the left side and bringing Elon back within two. Mafi however tacked on the final tally on a penalty kick at the 80th minute that set the final score.

Match Notes
• Clemson had a 16-8 shot advantage over the Phoenix and a 10-6 mark in shots on goal.
• Both squads finished tied in corners, 3-3.
• Elon was whistled for 18 fouls compared to 14 for Clemson. The Phoenix was also issued four yellow cards.
• This is the third time in the past four seasons that Elon has finished the year with 14 or more wins.
• Matthew Jegier finished the match with five saves in all 90 minutes played between the posts.

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