ELON, N.C. – A first-half goal from senior James Brace coupled with a clean sheet from keeper Matthew Jegier elevated the 13th-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team to a 1-0 win over Lipscomb in a nonconference tilt on Saturday, Oct. 10, at Rudd Field.
The Phoenix (10-2) and head coach Chris Little earned their 10th win of the season while remaining undefeated at home with a 4-0 ledger in its victory over the Bison (4-7-1). The clean sheet was also the seventh of the season for Jegier and the maroon and gold.
“It was great to get the win,” said Little. “We played a lot of players tonight and had a lot of people in the rotation for players who deserved it and I thought they did really well. I thought the first half was really good as we got some really good chances. Lipscomb came back and played really well and we had to grind it out, but it was great to get the clean sheet and the win.”
Brace put the Phoenix on the board near the 20th minute of the opening stanza. The Hartlepool, England, native played a through ball from rookie Amir Berkane inside the box and was able to push the ball past the Bison keeper to put the Phoenix up 1-0.
Nearly two minutes later, Brace almost had his second score of the contest, but was denied by the Lipscomb defense. The Phoenix would get one more shot on goal in the first period at the 34th minute mark by Luis Argudo, but he would come up empty as Elon went into the half with a 1-0 lead.
The Phoenix dominated in shots in the opening session, 6-1, and had a 3-0 mark in corner kicks. Elon was also called offside seven times in the opening period.
Brace’s goal was all that was needed as Jegier turned away all three shots he faced at the other end of the field to help the Phoenix to its second straight win.
• The victory improved the Phoenix to 2-0 all-time versus the Bison. Elon last faced Lipscomb at the Lipscomb Tournament in 2012.
• The Bison outshot the maroon and gold 11-5 in the second half as the match ended with both teams deadlocked in shots total, 11-11. Elon had six shots on target compared to three for Lipscomb.
• The Phoenix had three players making their first career start in the match in Berkane, Jaiden Fortune and Nick Adamczyk.
• Elon had four true freshmen in its starting 11 with Adamczyk, Berkane, Fortune and Nicholas O’Callaghan. The last time Elon had that many true freshmen in its lineup was in 2011.
• Brace tied the Phoenix team-lead with his fourth goal of the season. The score was also the 20th in his career.
• With its win tonight, Elon has had 10 or more wins in three of the last four seasons.
• Tonight’s win was the 19th for Little at Elon, one shy of tying Rob Brewer (1988-95) for the most by a Elon head coach in his first two seasons.
• The seventh clean sheets for Jegier puts him in a tie for fourth all-time in program history in a single-season with Nathan Dean (2011-14). The Charlotte, N.C., native also is now eighth all-time in school history in career shutouts in just his first year as a starter.
The Phoenix returns to Colonial Athletic Association play on Wednesday, Oct. 14, as Elon travels to in-state rival UNCW for a showdown with the Seahawks. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.