ELON, N.C. – A goal by William & Mary’s Antonio Bustamante in the 17th minute proved to be enough to take down the Elon University men’s soccer team, 1-0, in the Phoenix’s Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinal match on Saturday night, Nov. 5, at Rudd Field.
The defeat dropped fourth-seeded Elon to 7-6-4 overall on the year and ended the Phoenix’s hopes of advancing to the semifinals match of the league championships. The fifth-seeded Tribe improved to 11-6-2 on the season and avenged its 2-0 regular-season loss to the maroon and gold on Oct. 12.
Elon seemed to jump out of the gates on top of the Tribe and had some good looks at goal early in the opening session. Inside the second minute, Nick Adamczyk beat the defense and sent in a cross that found the foot of Marcel Fahrenholz near the penalty spot. A mistouch of the ball however led to the ball being cleared by the William & Mary defense.
The Tribe, who came into the match as the top goal-scoring team in the CAA, finally found the back of the net inside the 17th minute. Bustamante was able to beat keeper Matthew Jegier one-on-one inside the box on counter after receiving a through ball from teammate William Eskay. The goal put the Tribe up 1-0 over the Phoenix and also swing the momentum towards its way as William & Mary peppered Elon with five more shots in the rest of the period before going into the half with the lead.
The Phoenix was held to only one shot in the opening stanza, which came from Jaiden Fortune inside the 12th minute, while the Tribe had eight overall. Elon continued to press and put numbers up forward chasing down the equalizer for the second period.
Elon started the second half with a pair of early corners to put the pressure on the Tribe defense. Perhaps the Phoenix’s closest look at a goal came inside the 58th minute when Elijah Agu saw a one-on-one chance with the keeper after a great cross from Jonathan Coleby from near midfield. William & Mary’s netminder Phil Breno however was able to get big and make a great save to prevent the tying score.
The Phoenix would continue to get good chances off set pieces from fouls outside of the box in its offensive third. The maroon and gold was unable to penetrate through the defense each time and found itself susceptible to some counter plays by the Tribe.
An example of that came inside the 88th minute as Bustamante received a clear off a Phoenix kick and raced down the field towards a scrambling defense. Jegier however thwarted the chance with a big save to keep the home side down a goal with the match winding down.
Elon had one final chance after getting back into its offensive third with Agu near the top of the box with just seconds left to play. The striker’s attempt was blocked and as the match ended shortly after with the Phoenix going down in defeat, 1-0.
• The loss dropped Elon to 0-3 all-time in the CAA Tournament despite not being any lower than a No. 4 seed each time.
• Elon’s seven wins on the season is its fewest since going 8-6-5 in 2010. The Phoenix also close the campaign with a five-match winless streak with each contest coming at home.
• William & Mary led the match with 12 shots compared to five for Elon. The Tribe had six attempts on goal while Elon only had one.
• Jegier played every minute in goal and had four total saves. Breno had one save on the other end for the Tribe.
• The Tribe will advance to face No. 1 seed and host Hofstra next Friday, Nov. 11, in the semifinal round of the CAA Tournament. No. 6 seed College of Charleston also advanced to the league’s final four round with a date versus No. 2 seed Delaware after the Cougars earned a 2-1 victory at No. 3 seed UNCW on Saturday.