ELON, N.C. – Redshirt junior goalkeeper Matthew Jegier posted the 23rd clean sheet of his career as the Elon University men’s soccer team battled College of Charleston to a scoreless Colonial Athletic Association stalemate on Saturday night, Sept. 30, at Rudd Field. The feat moved Jegier into second in career shutouts in school history, moving past former Phoenix and current Toronto FC keeper Clint Irwin ’11.
Elon (3-1-6, 0-1-3 CAA) tied for the sixth time this season, a new single-season record for the program. It was the second straight season that the Phoenix battled the Cougars (2-5-2, 0-1-2 CAA) to a draw while both teams went into extra sessions for the fourth straight year.
Elon won the overall shot battle against the Cougars, 17-8, with a 7-3 advantage on goal, but was not able to get past CofC keeper Kevin Shields, who made seven saves. Elon was tested early by the Cougars’ Curren Page, who fired a strike from the 18-yard area that Jegier tipped for one of his three saves that led to a corner inside the second minute. The set piece however was turned away by the Phoenix defense.
Tuki Tayali (20′), John Walden (21′), Nicholas O’Callaghan (26′) and Elijah Agu (34′) each had a shot on goal for the Phoenix in the opening stanza, but Shields was there every time to thwart the attempt. Elon also had ample opportunities on set pieces in the first half with the Phoenix having a 7-3 advantage on corners.
In the second period, Elon fired seven more shots, but still could not find the go-ahead score. The Phoenix’s best look at a score in the second half came inside the 81st and 84th minutes of action from Agu. The Cary, N.C., native had the Phoenix’s only two shots on goal in the second stanza, but Shields was able to add a pair of stops.
As the match moved into overtime, Elon was still the more aggressive team, tallying a 4-1 shot advantage during the extra sessions. The Phoenix’s last best chance of the match came at the 106th minute as Ronni Mleczkovicz had a look that was corralled by the keeper.
Elon preserved the draw thanks to some clutch team defending in the final minutes of the match. During the final minute, the Cougars were breaking down the field with numbers as the Phoenix struggled to get back with a defender going down on the play due to injury. Agu was able to sprint back to knock the ball out play to force a corner kick. Despite having two chances, CofC could not find the golden goal thanks to a composed Phoenix defense, who held on for the seventh shutout of the season.
Inside the Box Score
• Jegier is now two clean sheets away from tying Nathan Dean ’14 for the top spot on the program’s all-time career list.
• Agu led the Phoenix with four shots, with three coming on goal. O’Callaghan and Tayali had three shots for Elon.
• Elon’s previous high for draws in a season was five which occurred twice with the most recent year being in 2010 (8-6-5).
• The Phoenix is now tied for the national lead in draws with fellow league foe Hofstra, who also drew on Saturday versus James Madison.
The Phoenix heads to intrastate rival Duke next Tuesday, Oct. 3, for its second matchup of the season against an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff between the Phoenix and the Blue Devils.