ELON, N.C. – In a matchup between two of the top three teams in the Colonial Athletic Association standings, the Elon University men’s soccer team welcomes Delaware to Rudd Field on Saturday night, Oct. 22. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. for the athletic nightcap of Elon’s homecoming weekend.
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.
Along with the homecoming festivities, the Phoenix will also host its annual alumni reunion weekend. Elon will welcome back many prominent members of the program for a reunion dinner beginning on Friday, Oct. 21, before hosting its alumni game on Saturday morning.
Saturday’s match will be the fourth game in the brief series between the Phoenix and the Blue Hens since Elon became members of the CAA in 2014. The series is even all-time at 1-1-1 with Saturday’s matchup being the first on the Phoenix’s home pitch. Last season, Elon defeated Delaware, 1-0, in Newark, Del., during the regular-season, but was eliminated by the Blue Hens via penalty kicks in the semifinal round at the league championships as the match ended in an official 2-2 draw.
Second half goals from Jaiden Fortune and Elijah Agu helped the Phoenix to a 2-0 victory at league foe Drexel last Saturday, Oct. 15. Fortune tallied his second game-winner of the year with his goal in the 47th minute after he followed a shot off a Tuki Tayali miss that hit the post. Agu added another goal in the 73rd minute to clinch the 2-0 victory for the maroon and gold.
Elon’s stretch of six consecutive true road matches is the longest slate in program history besting the total of five straight in 2005. The Phoenix suffered only one setback during that six-match road swing, a 2-1 overtime loss at then No. 24 Radford on Sept. 17. Compared to rest of the CAA, Elon is currently tied with Hofstra and Northeastern for playing the most non-home contests with nine.
For the ninth straight season, Elon was awarded as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Academic Team as announced on Oct 6. The Phoenix produced a team GPA of 3.0 or higher for the ninth year in a row and was one of 315 men’s soccer teams that were honored by the NSCAA. Elon was also one of six teams from the Colonial Athletic Association that were recognized.
On Monday, Oct. 17, Agu received his second CAA Player of the Week accolade this season. The junior striker from Cary, N.C., added three goals as the Phoenix posted a 2-0 ledger last week versus league foes William & Mary and at Drexel. He notched his third multi-goal game of the year with his two score performance against the Tribe on Oct. 12, in the Phoenix’s 2-0 result. He added his CAA-best ninth goal of the year last Saturday at Drexel in Elon’s 2-0 victory over the Dragons.
About Elon (7-2-3, 3-0-2 CAA)
Going into the match on Saturday, Elon is currently third in the CAA standings with 11 points (3-0-2), one shy of the Blue Hens who sit at second with 12 (3-2-0). Hofstra, who the Phoenix hosts next Saturday, Oct. 29, still sits atop of the standings with 18 points (6-1).
The Phoenix is coming off its first back-to-back multi-goal performances this season with its contests against William & Mary and Drexel. On the year, Elon is averaging 1.83 goals per match and is second overall in total goals with 22. The Phoenix currently paces the league in assists per game at 1.83.
With nine goals on the year, Agu has the highest single-season goal total for the Phoenix since the 2013 season. He leads the CAA in goals per game at 0.75 and is second overall in total points (19), points per game (1.58) and game-winning goals. Sophomore Nick Adamczyk is second in the league in assists with five with Agu being the beneficiary of four of those.
Defensively, the Phoenix is one of the best in the CAA and the country as the maroon and gold defense has allowed a league-low seven goals and only one in its five CAA matches. Phoenix opponents are averaging 11.4 shots per match with 45 of those coming on target at a .328 percent clip. Keeper Matthew Jegier continues his impressive campaign in goal as he leads the CAA in goals against average at 0.55 and save percentage (.825) while ranking second overall in clean sheets with six. As a team, Elon is tied for the league-lead with seven shutouts.
About Delaware (9-5-1, 4-2-0 CAA)
Tabbed to finish second in the 2016 CAA Preseason Poll, the Blue Hens come into the match this Saturday with a 9-5-1 record and a 4-2 ledger in CAA play. Since the start of October however, Delaware has a 1-3-1 record and had a 2-1 setback at Temple in its most recent contest on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
On the year, Delaware has accounted for 27 goals and is averaging 14.1 shots per match with 97 coming on goal. Overall, the Blue Hens have taken 211 shots, which is the most in the league along with its 116 corner kicks. Senior Guillermo Delgado, who was a 2015 third team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), leads the CAA in total points (23) on his eight goals and league-best seven assists.
Defensively, the Blue Hens have conceded 14 goals this season with the opposition getting off 9.1 shots per match. Eleven of those goals have come in the second stanza as Delaware opponents have had 71 shots on target overall with a .522 shooting percentage. Todd Morton has played every minute in goal this season and leads the CAA in total shutouts with seven. He also has posted a GAA of 0.91, is second in the league with a .800 save percentage and also in total saves with 56.
Elon hosts in-state and Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Duke on Tuesday, Oct. 25. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Rudd Field.