WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team was handed its first loss of the season as the Phoenix fell at Colonial Athletic Association foe No. 15/14 UNCW, 2-1, on Wednesday evening, Sept. 27 at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.
Elon (3-1-5, 0-1-2) was handed its first loss of the season after starting the year unbeaten in its first eight games. UNCW pushed its record to 7-1 while also increasing its lead in the league standings to 3-0. The defeat was also the first against the Seahawks in the series since 2004.
Both teams spent nearly the first 40 minutes of the match feeling each other out. The two programs each had a shot on goal in the first 38 minutes, but those would be the only shots in the game at that point.
Just inside the 38th minute, UNCW got behind the Phoenix defense for the first score of the night. Jamil Garcia was able to receive a through ball on the right side of the box and slipped a pass to Phillip Goodrum. Goodrum was able to fire a quick shot in the box into the top left corner to give the Seahawks a 1-0 lead.
That concluded a very quiet half as both teams combined for three total shots in the first period, with UNCW having two shots on goal and the lone corner of the stanza.
UNCW put its second score on the board in 64th minute. Emil Elveroth headed in a shot past the keeper off a cross for his second score of the season and to put the maroon and gold at a 2-0 disadvantage.
Elon finally got one on the scoreboard late in the match while pushing numbers forward. Tuki Tayali headed in his first score of the season thanks to a Billy Beresford cross to cut the Phoenix’s deficit to one, 2-1.
As Elon continued to provide the offensive pressure in the final two minutes, the Phoenix received a golden opportunity for the equalizer after being rewarded a free kick just outside of 18 yards with 20 seconds remaining in the game. The kick curled into the gaggle of players in the box before the UNCW netminder corralled it to seal the Seahawk victory.
Inside the Box Score
• The match was the first that Elon has allowed multi-goals to an opponent since a 3-1 setback last season against Hofstra.
• UNCW won the shot battle, 8-4, with a 4-3 advantage in attempts on frame. Four different players attempted a shot for the Phoenix.
• Tayali became the sixth different goal scorer this season for the Phoenix while Beresford’s assist was the first of the season for the Sheffield, England, native.
• Matthew Jegier made two saves while playing all 90 minutes in goal. His counterpart Ryan Cretens also had a pair of stops.
Elon hosts league foe College of Charleston on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Rudd Field. The Phoenix and the Cougars are slated to kickoff the match at 7 p.m.