ELON, N.C. – Coming off its first Colonial Athletic Association loss of the season, the Elon University men’s soccer team will look to rebound and get back on the winning side as the Phoenix hosts Duke in a nonconference match on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Rudd Field. Kickoff begins at 7 p.m.
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Tuesday 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. The match will also be streamed online through Elon’s Phoenix All-Access channel.
In a series dating back to 1980, Elon and Duke will meet on the soccer pitch for the 15th time on Tuesday. The Blue Devils hold a commanding 10-1-3 lead all-time versus the Phoenix and earned a 2-1 double-overtime victory last season in Durham. The Phoenix however defeated Duke the last time to programs met in Elon in 2014, 2-1, with the Blue Devils being winless at Rudd Field since 2010.
Despite opening the match with an early goal in the first two minutes and holding a 2-1 lead late into the second half, the Phoenix suffered its first CAA setback of the season with a 3-2 result to Delaware this past Saturday, Oct. 22. Elijah Agu added his fourth multi-goal match of the season against the Blue Hens with scores in the second and ninth minute, but a couple of late goals by Delaware in the 66th and 75th minute dropped the Phoenix to 3-1-2 in league play.
While the match Tuesday will have an in-state rivalry feel between the two programs, it will also feature a sibling rivalry. Elijah Agu will square off against his younger brother Colby, who is a freshman on the Duke men’s soccer team. Colby Agu has appeared in 12 games on the season for the Blue Devils and has scored one goal this year – which came against UNC Asheville at Duke’s John Rennie Nike Invitational tournament in which Elon participated in and Elijah Agu scored a pair of goals.
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.
About Elon (7-3-3, 3-1-2 CAA)
Elon’s loss kept the Phoenix at third in the CAA standings with 11 points behind Hofstra (18) and Delaware (15). The Phoenix’s defeat coupled with UNCW’s loss versus Northeastern on Saturday clinched Hofstra the No. 1 seed for the CAA Tournament for the second straight season with the Pride having one CAA game left to play on its schedule – at Elon on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Agu became Elon’s first double-digit single-season goal scorer since the 2013 season and is the league leader in total goals with his 11 scores. The Cary, N.C., native is fourth overall in the country in goals per game at 0.85 and sixth in the nation in total goals. As a team, the Phoenix is first in the CAA in shots per game (14.85), shots on target per game (6.54) and assists per match (1.85) with Elon ranked 16th in the country in the latter category.
The Phoenix allowed a season-high three goals against the Blue Hens, but still ranks as one of the top teams in the league in most defensive categories. Elon has conceded a league-low 10 goals and is 12th overall in the country in shutout percentage at 0.54. The Phoenix’s goals against average of 0.72 is also tops in the CAA along with its seven total clean sheets.
About Duke (6-6-2, 2-4-1 ACC)
The Blue Devils, who were picked to finish fourth in the Coastal Division of the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Poll, is 6-6-2 overall this season. Duke has won two straight following a three-game losing skid with a recent 2-1 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame last Friday, Oct. 21.
Duke has scored 21 goals on the year with 10 different players finding the back of the net. The Main offensive catalyst for the Blue Devils this season has been Brian White with a team-high 12 points on four goals and four assists along with Suniel Veerakone with 11 points with three goals and a team-best five helpers. Cameron Moseley has a team-best five goals for Duke despite only starting four games and playing 579 minutes.
Defensively, Duke has allowed 21 goals with opponents averaging just over 11 shots per match. Robert Moewes has started all 14 games in goal for the Blue Devils and has GAA of 1.38 and 58 saves.
Elon closes out the week with a match against CAA-leader Hofstra on Saturday, Oct. 29. That match is slated to begin at 7 p.m.