Elon Men’s Soccer Phoenix Falls to San Diego in John Rennie Tourney Finale

Posted by Press Release on August 28, 2016 at 6:11 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

DURHAM, N.C. – Despite dominating the match from nearly every statistical standpoint, the Elon University men’s soccer team fell to San Diego, 2-1, in the Phoenix’s finale at the John Rennie Nike Invitational on Sunday, Aug. 28, at Koskinen Stadium.

BOX SCORE

Elon (1-1) dominated the game in shots (16-6), shots on goal (5-4) and corners (7-0), but was unable to repeat as tournament champions in the prestigious event. San Diego improved to 1-0-1 on the season.

“Congratulations to San Diego,” said Elon head coach Chris Little. “They are a good team and took their chances well early in the game. From our perspective, I thought in a lot of the facets of the game we did a lot of things well in restricting them to a few shots on goal. But again from our perspective, it’s little tough knowing we had 16 shots and some good looks at goal. We caused them some problems, but today just wasn’t meant to be.”

The Rundown
The Phoenix had the best early chance in the match at the third minute. Amir Berkane found himself free at the top of the 18-yard box and fired a shot that went off the right post. The rebound dropped to Nick Adamczyk, but his follow attempt went high of the mark.

Elon eventually jumped out in front early in the match inside the 11th minute with the first score of the match. Adamczyk drilled a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that deflected off the left post and into the back of the right corner. It was the first collegiate goal for the sophomore as Elon took a 1-0 advantage.

The Toreros answered to tie the game in the 29th minute on a counter play. Michael Turner beat the Phoenix defense down the field and scored from 10 yards inside the box into the right corner.

Both teams went into the half tied at 1-1. The Phoenix had a 10-2 shot advantage in the opening session with three of those coming on target compared to one for San Diego. Elon also blanked the Toreros in corners, 2-0, in the opening stanza.

San Diego broke the tie in the 58th minute. USD’s Miguel Barry found himself free near the top of the 18-yard mark and curled a shot into the right side of the net to put the Toreros up 2-1.

Elon chased the equalizer throughout the remainder of the match. Will Smith had a good look from around the 23-yard mark inside the 62nd minute that forced the keeper to knock it out of play. On the following corner, Elon could not take advantage of the set piece giving the ball back to San Diego.

The Phoenix had a flurry of chances in the 75th and 76th minutes with attempts by Jaiden Fortune and Tuki Tayali, respectively. Fortune’s try inside the box was blocked leading to another corner kick, but Tayali’s follow-up was also knocked away by the Toreros defenders.

Elon continued to press and came painfully close to knocking in the equalizer on several occasions over the final 15 minutes of action. The Phoenix earned a pair of corner kicks in the last 10 minutes of play but, once again, could not find the back of the net as the game ended with a 2-1 defeat to the Toreros.

Match Notes
• This was Elon’s first loss at the John Rennie Nike Invitational since its season-opener versus Stetson at the event in 2014.
• Matthew Jegier played all 90 minutes between the posts and had two saves.
• Adamczyk led Elon with three shots total with two coming on target. Fortune, Smith, Tayali and Luke Matthews each had two shots.
• There were 30 fouls total whistled in the contest with Elon being tabbed for 16 of them. Six yellow cards were also handed out in the match with both teams having three each.
• Elijah Agu made his first collegiate start in the contest and played 58 minutes.

Quotable
“It’s a tough one to lose, but I think there is a lot to learn from the game,” said Little. “As we develop as a team, there is a lot that we can take from and get better as we prepare for our home opener on Friday.”

Up Next
The Phoenix hosts St. Bonaventure for its home opener on Friday, Sept. 2, as part of the Elon/High Point Classic Tournament. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Rudd Field.


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