MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Despite an early goal from senior Elijah Agu, the Elon University men’s soccer team fell to College of Charleston, 2-1, in a Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinal match on Saturday night, Nov. 4, at the Patriots Point Soccer Complex.
Elon (7-5-6) could not respond to two unanswered goals from the Cougars (8-5-4), as the Phoenix was eliminated from the CAA Tournament as the No. 6 seed. The No. 3 seed Cougars pushed its unbeaten streak to nine games and will face second-seeded UNCW next Friday, Nov. 10, in Harrisonburg, Va.
The Phoenix took the lead in the first half as Agu scored just seconds after coming off the bench inside the 22nd minute. The Cary, N.C., native hit a strike that curved just inside the left post for his fourth of the season.
The Cougars leveled the match just six minutes after as CofC took advantage of earning a free kick just outside the box after a Phoenix yellow card. Jake Nicholson curved the kick into the box where it found the head of Leland Archer for his fourth of the year to tie the match.
Elon nearly retook the lead as Billy Beresford got free at the 42nd minute. The redshirt sophomore sent a shot from the far left post that was saved by keeper Kevin Shields. The Phoenix had another quality chance with under a minute remaining as Amir Berkane fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard area, but pushed the ball high over the target as the opening stanza ended deadlocked at one-all.
The Cougars held a 5-4 shot advantage over the Phoenix and had a 3-2 lead on attempts on target.
CofC had the early attack to start the second period, getting a look from 20-plus yards, but the attempt went wide left.
Elon was unlucky in the 64th minute as great ball movement by the Cougars in its offensive third forced a scrambling Elon defense to tackle a player in the box to force a penalty kick. Archer took the assignment and connected on his second of the match to put the Cougars ahead 2-1.
The Phoenix kept pushing its numbers forward in attempt to capture the equalizer, but never got any closer to level the match outside of a John Walden shot in the 85th minute. The Cougars controlled possession for the remainder of the match to hang on for the 2-1 victory.
Inside the Box Score
• Elon ended the match slightly outshot by the Cougars, 12-10, with both squads knotted at 5-5 in attempts on goal.
• The victory for CofC was the first against the Phoenix since Elon joined the CAA in 2014. Prior to tonight’s match, the Phoenix had been 2-0-2 versus the Cougars as CAA opponents.
• Matthew Jegier played all 90 minutes in goal for Elon and made three saves. Shields had four in net for the Cougars.
• Senior Jonathan Coleby played in the match, his first appearance since facing the Cougars in the regular season on Sept. 30.