COLUMBIA, S.C. – Despite outshooting its opponent, the eighth-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team suffered its first defeat of the season at the hands of South Carolina on the road in the form of the 3-1 setback on Tuesday, Sept. 22, in a non-conference match at Eugene Stone Stadium.
Elon (7-1) saw its seven-match unbeaten streak to start the year snapped as the Gamecocks improved to 4-2-1. The three goals allowed was also a season-high for the Phoenix, who outshot the Gamecocks 20-8 overall, including 14 in the second period.
Elon’s Eduardo Alvarez had the Phoenix’s lone goal in the 50th minute for his team-best fourth score of the year. He led the Phoenix with four shots overall.
South Carolina earned the match’s first goal inside the 30th minute. The Gamecocks’ Kevin Walker netted his first goal of the season with a shot from the top of the box that put the Phoenix in an early 1-0 hole.
Shortly after the start of the second stanza, Elon found the equalizer in the 50th minute. The Phoenix’s Luis Argudo drew a foul on the Gamecocks about 22 yards away setting up a free kick. Alvarez was able to drill it to the back left post and knotted the game at 1-1.
The Gamecocks would go back in front after earning a free kick itself after a Phoenix foul near the 26-yard mark. South Carolina’s Danny Deakin connected for his fifth goal of the season to put Elon down 2-1.
South Carolina put the match out of reach with a late goal by Deakin in the 88th minute. Deakin beat the scrambling Phoenix defense and set the final tally as Elon fell to the Gamecocks, 3-1.
– This was the first match of the year that the Phoenix has trailed in a game at any point.
– The three goals conceded by the Phoenix were also the most for the team since also allowing three at No. 24 Coastal Carolina.
– The Phoenix also dominated in corners, 8-1, over the Gamecocks, including a 7-1 advantage in the second half.
– Five cautions were handed out in the match including as well as a red card to South Carolina’s Kurtis Turner in the 88th minute.
– Elon’s Matthew Jegier had three saves while playing the full 90 minutes between the posts.
The Phoenix continues its road trip with a step back into Colonial Athletic Association play as Elon travels to preseason league favorite Delaware on Saturday, Sept. 26. That match is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff.