DURHAM, N.C. – An early goal scored in the 13th minute was the difference as the Elon University men’s soccer team fell at No. 19 Duke on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in an early-week nonconference matchup at Koskinen Stadium.
The Phoenix (3-2-6) saw its winless streak go to seven games with only its second setback of the year. The Blue Devils improved to 8-2-1 overall on the year and 12-1-3 all-time in the series versus Elon, including winners of four out of the last five meetings.
Duke quickly answered to give itself the lead near the 13th minute. The Blue Devils’ Daniele Proch sent a low shot past keeper Matthew Jegier that trickled to the back left corner of the goal for his first score of the season.
Elon had a couple of solid chances to provide the equalizer after that. After a Duke foul set up a Phoenix free kick near the 21st minute, the set piece found the foot of Elijah Agu in the box, but the senior pushed the ball high over the goal.
Near the 24th minute, Elon’s Tuki Tayali got a shot off deep into the box that was deflected out of play by the Blue Devils. The Phoenix received back-to-back corner kick opportunities, but could not come up with anything off either set piece.
In the second half, Duke nearly took a two-score advantage in the 47th minute. The Blue Devils’ Kevon Black saw his shot blocked by the Phoenix defense, but the carom found the foot of Proch who had a good look with Elon scrambling. The maroon and gold was fortunate as Proch’s attempt hit the crossbar before being cleared away.
Inside the 75th minute, Elon again had a couple of corner kicks to try to tack on the equalizer. The result was the Phoenix’s first shot on goal of the night as Nicholas O’Callaghan fired a shot from the left side at the top of the box, but it was caught by the keeper.
With the clock ticking down under a minute in the match, Elon was able to get one final look for the tying goal. Jegier sent a great cross to Billy Beresford who beat the defense inside the box on the right side of the goal with 20 seconds remaining. The Sheffield, England, native fired a look that was jumped on by the Duke netmider, ending the final chance for the Phoenix and setting the final score of 1-0.
Inside the Box Score
• Elon was outshot by the Blue Devils 18-6 in the match with an 8-2 disadvantage in shots on goal.
• The goal allowed was only the fifth all season conceded by the Phoenix, who has allowed one or fewer goal in 10 of its 11 matches this season.
• Six different players took a shot for the Phoenix with Beresford and O’Callaghan the only ones coming on target.
• Jegier made a season-high six saves in goal for the Phoenix while playing all 90 minutes. His counterpart Will Pulisic had two stops for the Blue Devils.
• A total of 31 fouls were whistled in the match with Elon having the slight edge over Duke, 16-15. Four yellow cautions were also called on both teams.
The Phoenix will take a week-long break before heading to William & Mary for a league matchup against the Tribe next Wednesday, Oct. 11. That matchup is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.