DAVIDSON, N.C. – A late goal from junior Jaiden Fortune in the 86th minute lifted the Elon University men’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory at intrastate rival Davidson on Tuesday night, Oct. 24, in a nonconference battle at Alumni Soccer Stadium.
Elon won its second in a row and improved to 6-4-6 on the season with its first win on the road this year. Davidson fell to 8-6-2 this season and suffered its fifth straight defeat to the Phoenix while Elon improved its all-time series record to 11-3 versus the Wildcats.
“This was a good group effort,” said Elon head coach Marc Reeves. “We had some different guys step up and perform well against a strong opponent in a tough midweek game. I was pleased with our response after the equalizer, went in to not fold but fight harder and have some quality to create and finish the winning goal. We must turn around quickly and prepare correctly for our final regular season game knowing what is at stake.”
Elon got on the board quickly inside the fifth minute of the match. Ronni Mleczkovicz received a cross on the right side and was able to maneuver around a couple of defenders before finishing to the far post for his third score of the year.
The Phoenix charged up the field for another opportunity in the 13th minute. Fortune beat the defense on the right side and was able to get a good look that was knocked out of play by the keeper. Elon received a corner, but could not answer on the set piece.
Inside the 40th minute, Davidson was on the attack after drawing a Phoenix yellow card. The Wildcats would earn a corner kick that led to a pair of shots including a shot from Cort Coxhead that was saved by Matthew Jegier for the final attempt of the opening half.
Elon was tested early in the start of the second half. After the Phoenix was whistled for a yellow caution, Davidson fired a shot off the free kick that was blocked by the Elon wall. The carom found the feet of Cort Coxhead, who sent a low shot towards goal, but Jegier made another save to keep the match scoreless.
Davidson found the evasive equalizer in the 74th minute. Hugh Chatham sent in a cross from the left side that found the foot of Jamie Diluzio, who one-touched it for his first goal of the season tying the match at 1-1.
The Wildcats nearly went in front inside the 82nd minute after peppering the maroon and gold with a pair of shots. The Phoenix defense stood firm with Jegier making his second save of the match.
Four minutes later, Elon retook the lead thanks to Fortune. Jack Willbye forced a turnover near midfield and sent a pass to Mleczkovicz who in return forwarded a through ball to Fortune racing along on the right side. The Orlando, Fla., native played the ball and beat the keeper with a shot to the far post for his third goal of the season.
That would settle as the final score as Elon held for the 2-1 victory over the Wildcats. Jegier played all 90 minutes between the posts and had two saves. Sam Bissett and Sawyer Gaffney split time in goal for Davidson and combined for three saves with Gaffney being handed the loss in the match.
Inside the Box Score
• Davidson outshot Elon, 9-6, in the match with a 6-3 advantage in the second half. The Phoenix however had a 5-3 advantage in shots on target.
• Nicholas Resusta Galdos made his first start of the season for Elon and had the assist on Mleczkovicz’s goal.
• Despite the goal allowed, Elon still has only given up single-digit goals all season (nine). The Phoenix has only allowed multi-goal games in two matches this season.
• Fortune, Mleczkovicz and Tuki Tayali were the only players to attempt a shot for Elon, leading the Phoenix with two shots each.
Elon heads to Delaware for its regular-season finale on Saturday, Oct. 28, for a key Colonial Athletic Association contest. The Phoenix and the Blue Hens are scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff with Elon needing a win or a tie to earn the final spot for the CAA Tournament.