RALEIGH, N.C. – A go-ahead goal by sophomore Elijah Agu in the 85th minute aided the Elon University men’s soccer team to a 3-2 victory at in-state rival NC State on Thursday, Aug. 20, at Dail Soccer Stadium.
“Anytime you can get a win against great competition you can get excited about it,” said Elon head coach Chris Little. “Today’s win showed our character, effort and a winning mentality. I was really pleased with their effort tonight.”
Luis Argudo found the back of the net first for Elon in the 58th minute after finding himself alone on the left side near the top of the box. The New York, N.Y., native played a ball from Miguel Salazar and sent it past the Wolfpack keeper to give Elon a 1-0 advantage.
The lead did not last however as NC State found the equalizer just a minute later. The Wolfpack’s Yanni Hachem beat the scrambling Phoenix defense to tie the game before the end of the second period. NC State then took the lead in the 81st minute off an Elon miscue and went up 2-1 from an Andrew Malinich goal and seemingly had the momentum.
Elon quickly regained composer as James Brace found the equalizer off a deflected ball less than a minute later. The senior midfielder caught the carom off a Wolfpack defender and sent it to the back left post to tie the game at 2-2.
Agu scored the go-ahead and game-winning goal on another deflection. Taylor Adler crossed the ball into the box from the left side of the field on the foot of Jaiden Fortune. The freshman striker fired the ball, but was denied by the keeper before Agu caught the rebound and sent it past the Wolfpack netminder to put the Phoenix up 3-2 before closing out the game.
– Elon outshot the Wolfpack 8-4 overall and had a slight 4-3 advantage on shots on target.
– The Phoenix also won the final battle in corners over NC State, 5-3.
– This is the Phoenix’s first win of any kind over NC State since 2000.
The Phoenix opens its 2015 campaign in Durham, N.C., for the John Rennie/Nike Classic, hosted by Duke. Elon opens the tournament versus DePaul on Friday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m., before closing out the weekend against Saint Mary’s on Sunday, Aug. 30, at noon.