NEWARK, Del. – The Elon University men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 setback at the hands of Delaware on Sunday, Nov. 2, in the Phoenix’s regular-season finale at the Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium.
The win gave the Blue Hens (12-5-1, 5-2-1 Colonial Athletic Association) the league’s regular-season title and the No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference championship tournament. The Phoenix (9-5-4, 4-2-2 CAA) suffered its first loss in seven matches and will be the No. 4 seed.
The Blue Hens netted its first goal of the match in the 21st minute. Guillermo Delgado scored his 12th goal of the year after beating the maroon and gold defense and pushing a shot to the back left corner of the net.
Elon nearly responded just two minutes later as James Brace was on the attack. The junior had a couple of cracks at the equalizer with a shot towards Delaware’s goal, but the Blue Hens goalkeeper, Borja Barbero, made a save on the first try. The ball was not grabbed cleanly as the rebound trickled to Brace, but his follow would hit the post.
Delaware added a two-score cushion in the 37th minute as the Blue Hens’ Kyle Bruno added his third score of the year. The senior, just two minutes after coming off the bench, scored from eight yards out to put the Blue Hens up 2-0.
The Phoenix continued to feel the pressure from the Blue Hens in the second half. Bruno broke free of the maroon and gold defense and had a one-on-one opportunity versus Elon goalkeeper Nathan Dean in the 53rd minute, but the senior netminder was able to make the save.
Elon was finally able to put a score on the board off a mistake by the Blue Hens in the 62nd minute. Delaware failed to clear a ball cleanly off an Elon cross in the box as the defender headed it for an own goal. The score trimmed the Blue Hens lead to one at 2-1.
The maroon and gold continued to chase the evasive equalizer for the remainder of the match. Elon’s best chances for a goal came in the last five minutes of the game as the Phoenix peppered four shots at Delaware. The Blue Hens however held strong throughout the frantic five minutes and would hold on for the 2-1 win.
Brace led the Phoenix with four shots followed by Caue Da Silva and Miguel Salzar with two each. Dean had five saves on the match between the posts while Barbero had three for Delaware.
Elon will host No. 5 seed Northeastern on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Rudd Field in the quarterfinals of the CAA Men’s Soccer Championships. The time of that match has yet to be determined.