ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team battled James Madison to a scoreless draw on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 26, in the Phoenix’s regular-season home finale at Rudd Field.
With the draw, Elon (8-4-4, 3-1-2 Colonial Athletic Association) extended its unbeaten streak to six matches, but had its season-high four-game win streak snapped at the hands of the Dukes (6-6-3, 2-2-2 CAA). The shutout was also the ninth of the season for the maroon and gold and senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean, one shy of tying the school-record in a single year.
In a back-and-forth match, Elon outshot JMU, 9-6, overall and had the better scoring opportunities with four shots on target compared to just one for the Dukes. The Phoenix could not cash in however as JMU’s goalkeeper Kyle Morton made a number of great saves for his sixth shutout of the year.
James Brace paced the Phoenix with three shots including one on goal. Morton had three saves to his credit in the match for JMU.
Elon’s first chance at a goal came in the fourth minute of the match when Miguel Salazar took a shot near the top of the box, but was corralled by Morton. Then, in the 34th minute, sophomore Taylor Adler broke away from the pack and raced down the center of the field on a breakaway and tried a shot to the far right post. The JMU keeper was able to get his hands on it to preserve to scoreless match at that point.
Two minutes before the half, the Phoenix’s Chad Craig attempted a shot from about 12 yards out, but Morton made another stop as the match went into the break scoreless.
After the start of the second session, the Phoenix continued to put pressure on JMU’s defense and earned five corner kicks between the start of the second stanza to the 58th minute. Elon was unable to capitalize on the set pieces with Elon drawing a foul on its final try.
Despite the Dukes’ stellar play defensively, Elon’s best chance for a score came in the 81st minute. Caue Da Silva sent in a far-post cross into the box where Brace just missed the goal on a header as the try went to high.
JMU’s Michael Russo had the lone shot on goal for the Dukes in the 99th minute in overtime, but the Phoenix defense blocked the shot. On the following corner, a shot by Francisco Narbon went high as the match went into a second extra session.
Da Silva and Samuel McBride had the lone shot attempts for Elon in the second overtime, but both were turned away by JMU’s backline as the game ended at 0-0.
Elon had a 9-3 edge on corners in the match and outshot the Dukes, 3-2 in the overtime periods.
The match was the final regular-season home match for the maroon and gold and its senior class of Dean, Tommy Allen, Eliot Browarsky, Austin Dunker and Waterman. The quintet has amassed 47 wins as a group, tied for the most in program history at the Division I level as a class.
Elon will travel on the road for its final two matches of the season beginning with a game at College of Charleston on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.