ELON, N.C. – Chad Craig’s first career goal in the 41st minute aided the Elon University men’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association match on Saturday night, Oct. 18, at Rudd Field.
The victory improved the Phoenix to 7-4-3 overall and 3-1-1 in the CAA with its third straight league win and increased its unbeaten streak to four games. The Dragons would fall to 5-7-3 and 1-3-1 in conference play.
Elon was on the attack throughout the match, posting an 18-11 advantage in shots, including a 9-3 edge in the opening stanza. The maroon and gold and keeper Nathan Dean posted their eighth clean sheet of the season, moving Dean into a tie for second place in school history in a single season with Kip Rackley in 1987.
The Phoenix wasted little time posting the first goal on the scoreboard. Cauê Da Silva played a ball from Nathan Diehl just outside of the box on the right side and maneuver through numerous defenders before burying a shot past the keeper. It was the second score of the year for the junior from Brazil.
Elon added to its lead in the 41st minute on Craig’s landmark goal. Freshman Jonathan Coleby dribble up the field and found Craig on his left just at the top of the box. The sophomore forward then fired across the goal into the back right corner of the net to put Elon up 2-0.
Elon had a pair of chances to strengthen its lead including frantic opportunities just after the half in the 51st minute. James Brace beat his man inside the box fired a shot towards the back right corner of the goal, but the ball hit the post. The carom found the foot of Da Silva, who then passed it to Jason Waterman, but the senior striker’s try was too high.
The Dragons would get its first of only three shots on goal in the 57th minute, but Dean corralled Adam Arana’s attempt.
The Phoenix would be unlucky again in attempting to add to its advantage in the 76th minute. Eduardo Alvarez took a shot from just outside the box that hit the bottom of the post. Craig followed with a rebound try that went high of the goal.
Nonetheless, it was a dominating performance by the Phoenix over the defending CAA regular-season and tournament champions. Dean finished the match with three saves in goal for Elon.
Elon takes a step outside of conference play to host its final nonconference match of the season versus in-state rival Duke on Tuesday night, Oct. 21. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. at Rudd Field.