DURHAM, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team battled Fordham to a scoreless draw in the Phoenix’s season-opener in the first game of the John Rennie/Nike Invitational on Friday evening, Aug. 25, at Koskinen Stadium.
Elon (0-0-1) extended its unbeaten streak in season openers to three in its first-ever meeting against the Rams (0-0-1).
Both the Phoenix and the Rams went back and forth in the opening stanza in terms of momentum, but Elon dominated possession for the majority of the first period. However, the only shot on target for the maroon and gold in the first period came inside the 12th minute as Jack Willbye’s free kick was easily saved by the keeper.
Fordham nearly broke loose for the first goal of the match in the 38th minute. Elon misplayed the ball and the Rams had a breakaway towards its backline with an advantage. The Phoenix was able to get a deflection on an errant pass to disrupt the threat.
Both teams went into the half deadlocked in shots at 6-6 including one on target for each. The Rams had the 3-1 advantage in corners while both squads were marred with 21 combined fouls and four cautions.
Early in the start of the second half, Jaiden Fortune got a shot on target in the 53rd minute that was knocked out of play by the keeper. On the ensuing corner kick, Luke Matthews’ header went high over the goal.
In the 77th minute, Nick Adamczyk had a couple of chances after beating the defense down the field. His first try was blocked before he gathered the rebound on a follow attempt just inside the 18-yard line. His attempt went high to give the ball back to Fordham.
Both teams were unable to generate many more chances as the game went into overtime. Neither could get a shot on target during the two extra sessions as the match ended in a scoreless draw.
The Phoenix won the shot battle, 15-12, with a 3-1 shots on target advantage. The Rams had seven corners compared to four for Elon. A total of 40 fouls were called between both teams in the match including seven yellow cards.
Matthew Jegier made one save in between the posts in goal in the shutout, the 17th of his career. His counterpart Rashid Nuhu made three stops.
The Phoenix returns to the pitch for its final match of the tournament facing UCF on Sunday, Aug. 27. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.