ELON, N.C. – A goal by junior James Brace in the 64th minute provided the Elon University men’s soccer team a 1-0 non-conference victory over triad rival High Point on Tuesday night, Sept. 30 at Rudd Field.
In the 50th all-time meeting between the two programs, the Phoenix (4-3-2) came out on top with its second straight win over the Panthers (3-4-1). The shutout was the fifth of the season for the maroon and gold and senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean. The clean sheet was the 21st in the career for Dean, who is now one shy of tying Clint Irwin (2007-10) for the most all-time in school history.
Brace and the Phoenix came out on the attack in the opening minutes of action. The junior midfielder sent in a header shot in the fourth minute off a free kick that HPU keeper David Price was just able to put his hands on it to knock it out of play. Elon could not capitalize on the following corner kick, sending the ball back to the Panthers.
That would be pretty much all the action for both squads in the opening stanza. The Phoenix and the Panthers combined for three total shots in the first half with Brace’s attempt being the lone shot on goal. The two programs were also knotted at 2-2 in corners in the opening session.
High Point’s best opportunity to score came in the 56th minute when Ben Burdon turned and fired a shot from about 15 yards out. The ball sailed straight to Dean, who was able to make his lone save of the contest.
Elon took the lead nearly eight minutes later as junior Cauê Da Silva sent a cross into the box from the right side and found a streaking Brace racing down the middle. The Hartlepool, England, native pushed the ball past Price for his team-leading fourth goal of the year and gave Elon a 1-0 advantage.
The Panthers attempted to find the equalizer in the remaining minutes, but were turned away by the maroon and gold defense each time. The match would end in the 1-0 score, improving the Phoenix to 2-0-1 at home.
For the game, High Point outshot Elon, 6-5, but the Phoenix had the edge with two shots on goal. The maroon and gold also had one more corner kick that the Panthers, 3-2.
The Phoenix opens Colonial Athletic Association play for the first time on Saturday night, Oct. 4, as Hofstra comes to Rudd Field. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.