ELON, N.C. – Riding a four-game win streak, the nationally ranked Elon University men’s soccer team closes out its final road trip of the regular-season this week starting with a nonconference matchup at in-state rival Duke on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Both programs are scheduled to square off at 7 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Tuesday and throughout the season with live updates on elonphoenix.com. Live stats for every men’s soccer match will be available on the team’s schedule and home pages on the Elon athletic website. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores or the program’s handle @elonmenssoccer. The match will be streamed through Duke’s athletic website, goduke.com.
Phoenix Club Pre-Match Social
The Elon University Phoenix Club will host a pre-match social prior to the contest for all current members of the Phoenix Club. The event will be held at T.G.I. Friday’s at 2608 Erwin Road in Durham, N.C., starting at 5 p.m. The social is free and will include food and drinks.
Tuesday’s contest will be the 14th overall between Elon and Duke in a series dating back to 1980. The Blue Devils hold a 9-1-3 overall advantage over the Phoenix all-time, but Elon earned its first-ever win over Duke last year at Elon. Senior Miguel Salazar provided the game-winner at the 61st minute in the Phoenix’s 2-1 victory.
Last Time Out
Elon won its fourth straight match after earning a 2-1 win versus James Madison on Saturday, Oct. 17, in a Colonial Athletic Association contest. After falling behind early 1-0 to the defending league tournament champions, the Phoenix rallied with the equalizer goal by Nathan Diehl at the 38th minute before rookie Jaiden Fortune provided the game-winner at the 81st minute.
Phoenix Nationally Ranked
Elon is ranked at No. 10 in the College Soccer News Top 30 Poll and is No. 14 in TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25 Poll. The Phoenix is also No. 11 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top 25 Poll. Elon has been nationally ranked for five consecutive weeks – its longest streak in program history.
Elon No. 13 in Latest RPI Report
The Phoenix is No. 13 in the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), a 10-spot improvement from last week’s rankings. This week, Elon will have dates at the Duke (No. 45) and Hofstra (31) before wrapping up the season at home against Radford (33) and College of Charleston (76) the following week.
Fortune Named CAA Rookie of the Week
Speaking of Fortune, the first-year player was named the CAA Rookie of the Week on Monday, Oct. 19. The Bedford, England, native earned his second league weekly accolade of the season after scoring his second game-winner of the year against the Dukes. It was his fourth goal overall on the season.
Four Phoenix players have received league weekly accolades this year along with Matthew Jegier (Rookie), Fortune (Player and Rookie), Nicholas O’Callaghan (Player and Rookie), and Amir Berkane (Rookie).
About Elon (12-2, 5-1 CAA)
Elon’s win on Saturday along with Hofstra’s loss to College of Charleston put the Phoenix and the Pride in a tie for first-place in the CAA standings with 15 points each. The Phoenix’s 12 wins is one shy of its single-season high for victories in the regular-season at the Division I level. Second-year head coach Chris Little now has 21 wins at the helm of the Phoenix, the most by any head coach in the history of the program in their first two seasons.
The maroon and gold leads the CAA in goals scored with 30 and is averaging 2.14 scores per contest. The Phoenix is also pacing the league in assists with 25 (1.79 avg/g), goals against average (0.93), shutouts (seven) and total goals allowed (13).
Senior James Brace is the Phoenix’s leading scorer with 13 points on his five goals and three assists. Fellow senior Eduardo Alvarez is tied for Brace for the team-lead in goals with five and is tied for second on the squad in points (12) with Fortune. Fortune has four goals and a team-best four assists from his striker position.
In goal, first-year starter Jegier has played every minute between the posts and has a .759 save percentage while leading the league in clean sheets with seven. He is also second overall in the CAA in GAA at 0.93
Scouting Duke (6-6-2, 1-4-1 ACC)
The Blue Devils will be playing its third straight home match on Tuesday and will look to continue its momentum from its 6-2 win over NC State on Saturday. Prior to that match, Duke had lost two straight and was winless in eight of its last nine games.
Duke has netted 29 goals on the season and is averaging 15.57 shots a contest. Blue Devil players are shooting just over 48 percent of their shots on target this year and have 10 different players with at least one goal. Zach Mathers is Duke’s leading scorer with seven goals, four assists and 18 points.
Defensively, Duke has yielded opponents to 26 goals and 11.79 shots per match. The Blue Devils have allowed 18 goals in the second half of play and 72 corner kicks overall. Wilson Fisher has been the main netminder all season for Duke with a 1.71 GAA and 26 saves in his 10 matches played.
The Phoenix continues its road trek to Hempstead, N.Y., for a CAA showdown at Hofstra on Saturday, Oct. 24. The kickoff begins at 7 p.m.