ELON, N.C. – After conceding an early goal in the eighth minute of the match, the 11th-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team came from behind to defeat Colonial Athletic Association foe James Madison, 2-1, on Saturday, Oct. 17, thanks to a goal in the 81st minute by rookie Jaiden Fortune in front of over 1,300 fans at Rudd Field.
The victory was the fourth straight over for Elon (12-2, 5-1 CAA) who moved into a tie for first place in the league standings with its win over JMU (3-7-4, 2-2-2 CAA) and a Hofstra loss to College of Charleston on Saturday. The Phoenix also extended its home record to 5-0 in 2015 on the pitch at Rudd Field.
“I was delighted for the win,” said Elon head coach Chris Little. “Thank you to everyone who came out, it was a fantastic atmosphere and a great crowd. I thought the crowd helped us get back into the game after we conceded that early goal. It was a very tough and competitive game, a typical CAA game and I think the crowd played a great factor into us getting this win.”
The Phoenix gave up an early goal to the defending CAA Tournament champions inside the eighth minute of the match. JMU’s Connor Coward was able to convert off an Elon turnover and beat the scrambling Elon defense to put the Dukes up 1-0 for his fourth goal of the season.
Elon spent the remaining of the opening half in search of the equalizer and found it thanks to a header by senior Nathan Diehl at the 38th minute. After the Phoenix earned a corner kick, senior Eduardo Alvarez started the set piece with a bending ball into the box that found the head of Diehl, who placed it to the right side of the net to knot the match at 1-1.
As the game winded down to less than 10 minutes to play in regulation, Elon got on the scoreboard again thanks to a go-ahead goal by Fortune. Luis Argudo volleyed the ball back to the 18-yard line where Sam McBride and a defender battled for it. The deflection found the foot of Fortune, who was racing back up the field and beat the keeper to the ball just outside the six-yard box. The Bedford, England, native played the ball high and put the Phoenix up for the eventual 2-1 win.
• Elon had a 15-7 advantage on shots with a 5-3 edge in shots on goal.
• The Phoenix also dominated in corners, 10-1, over the Dukes.
• McBride’s assist to Fortune was the first point of his career.
• The goal was the fourth of the year for Fortune, who is now tied for the team-lead in total points with James Brace.
• This is the third time this year that Elon has had a home attendance of over 1,000.
• Matthew Jegier ended the night with a pair of saves in goal. His counterpart Kyle Morton corralled three saves in the net for JMU
The Phoenix travels to in-state rival Duke for a final road nonconference match on Tuesday, Oct. 20, in Durham, N.C. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.