ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team closes out a four-game road trip this Saturday, Sept. 24, with a Colonial Athletic Association contest at James Madison. The Phoenix and the Dukes are set for kickoff at 7 p.m. from Sentara Park.
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Saturday with updates on Twitter from the program’s handle @ElonMensSoccer. Other score updates will also be provided at the handle @elonscores as well as live stats from the men’s soccer home page.
Versus James Madison
The match Saturday will only be the third meeting all-time between the Phoenix and the Dukes and Elon’s first foray to JMU since becoming members of the CAA in 2014. The maroon and gold is unbeaten in the series, 1-0-1, and topped the Dukes last year at home, 2-1, thanks to a Jaiden Fortune game-winning goal in the 82nd minute. Prior to that match, the Phoenix and the Dukes battled each other to a scoreless draw in 2014 in the first meeting of the series in Elon.
A golden goal in the 104th minute handed the Phoenix its second loss of the season as Elon fell at No. 24 Radford last Saturday, Sept. 17, 2-1. Despite outshooting the Highlanders 21-13 with nine coming on target, Elon suffered its second straight loss to Radford and saw its four-match unbeaten streak snapped. Down 1-0 at the half, junior captain Jonathan Coleby’s first career goal in the 47th minute knotted the game at 1-1 which eventually sent the game into extra sessions. Playing in its second double overtime game in its past three matches, Elon continued to put pressure on on the Highlanders, but Sivert Daehlie’s goal midway in the second overtime made the difference in the match.
Elon Receiving Votes in NSCAA Poll
For the fourth time this season, Elon was receiving votes in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Top 25 poll on Tuesday, Sept 20. The Phoenix was one of three Colonial Athletic Association schools that were also receiving votes behind Delaware (41) and William & Mary (11).
Making Their Mark
Elon welcomed 16 newcomers to its roster for 2016 with 11 of them seeing playing time on the pitch so far this season. Including redshirt freshman, 13 total players are seeing the field for the first time in an Elon uniform. Two newcomers, defender Luke Matthews and midfielder Marcel Fahrenholz, have started every game this season while three others – Austin Hill, Jack Willbye and Tuki Tayali – have played over 150 minutes off the bench. Hill and Tayali are second and third on the squad in total points, respectively, while Matthews is seventh. Fahrenholz and Willbye are first and second on the team in assists with three and two, respectively.
So far during the 2016 season, the Phoenix has made great use of its overall depth on opposing teams. Among position players, 14 players have tallied over 150 minutes for the maroon and gold this season with 13 of them seeing action in all seven matches. A total of 11 players have notched points so far this season with Coleby being the latest to join the club after his first career goal at Radford. While Elijah Agu has accounted for six of the Phoenix 16 goals this season, he is one of eight Phoenix players to have scored a goal in 2016 and one of seven to have boasted 10 or more shot attempts.
Despite the setback at Radford last Saturday, Elon dominated in possession and total chances in the match, outshooting the Highlanders 21-13 overall with nine shots on goal. This season, the Phoenix has outshot opponents in six of its seven matches and has a plus-60 shot differential over its opponents this season.
Elon is currently the CAA leader in total goals (16), assists (16) and total points (48) and is second in the league in shots. Nationally, the Phoenix is currently third in the country in shots on goal per game at 7.71 and seventh overall in shots per match at 17.57. Agu is in the top three in the nation in game-winning goals with three and in the top-10 in total goals with six.
Only twice has the Phoenix allowed more than one goal in a match this season as Elon is yielding less than a goal per match at 0.86 and is tied for the league-lead in fewest goals allowed at six. Opponents are averaging less than ten shots per game versus Elon with a .095 shot percentage. Matthew Jegier has played all but nine minutes in goal this season and is second in the CAA in goals against average at 0.83.
About James Madison
Selected to finish seventh in the 2016 CAA Preseason poll, the Dukes are off to a 0-7-1 start this season after falling to Radford in their most recent contest on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 3-1. JMU is also 0-1 in the young conference season after a 2-0 setback in its league-opener at Hofstra last Saturday, Sept. 17.
Offensively, the Dukes have scored five goals this season from five different players. JMU is averaging around 12.5 shots per contest with Connor Coward having the overall team-lead with 14. Coward is also the Dukes’ top point scorer with three while Billy Metzler has handed out a team-best two assists.
JMU has allowed 15 goals this season for a 1.88 average per match with opponents attempting just under 12 shots a contest. Goalkeeper Kyle Morton has manned every minute between the posts and is first in the league in saves with 28.
The Phoenix is back at home to host UNCW in its CAA home-opener on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Kickoff for that match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.