ELON, N.C. – Despite taking an early lead in the second half, the Elon University men’s soccer team was unable to respond to two unanswered goals from Hofstra as the Phoenix fell to the Pride, 2-1, in its Colonial Athletic Association contest at Rudd Field on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Elon (4-8-2, 1-5-1 CAA) won the overall shot and corner battle in the match over Hofstra (7-5-3, 4-2-1 CAA), but could not find the equalizer to get the positive result it wanted. The setback also officially eliminated the Phoenix from postseason competition at the CAA Tournament with a league game left to play.
The first half only saw five shots total taken between the two teams with Elon holding the slight 3-2 advantage. The Phoenix’s best chance in the opening stanza came around the 43rd minute mark. Mikey Thomas played a cross into the box from the right side that was punched out by the keeper. The ball continued to bounce around the box in front of SahrFelix Sandy, who attempted to push a quick shot with defenders all around him. The attempt would go wide left before the close of the half.
Amir Berkane recorded the first goal of the night just two minutes into the start of the second period. Nick Adamczyk was able to beat his defender and draw a foul inside the box to set up a penalty kick. Berkane was given the assignment and connected on his second goal of the season to put the Phoenix ahead 1-0.
Hofstra responded with its equalizer in the 63rd minute. Lennart Seufert sent in a cross into the box from the right side and curved the ball towards the top left post. The Phoenix defense misplayed it as the ball snuck just inside the post to tie the game at 1-1.
About 14 minutes later, the Pride would strike again on a Phoenix defensive miscue. Hofstra was able to force a turnover with its pressure as Elon tried to clear the ball away just outside the 18-yard area. Etienne Botty and keeper Matthew Jegier raced towards the loose ball near the top of the box with Botty getting enough of it to flick it towards Luke Brown, who stared at an open goal after Jegier collided with Botty. Brown was able to sneak it past the scrambling defense of the Phoenix to put the Pride ahead 2-1.
Elon was presented with a formidable opportunity for its own equalizer with just under 12 minutes to play. John Walden played a ball inside the box after a deflection by a Hofstra defender and sent a quick touch pass to a streaking Iñigo Bronte, who was charging along the left side. The striker however lost his footing before the defense convened and cleared the ball. The Phoenix kept up the pressure as a cross was sent again into the box where Walden pushed it wide left.
Bronte had another look on goal in the 83rd minute. The redshirt junior fired a strike from the left side of the box, but the ball sailed wide right on the play.
That would be Elon’s final good look of the night as Hofstra was able to milk the clock and preserve its 2-1 victory over the Phoenix.
The Phoenix outshot the Pride 12-7 and forced seven corners in the final game at Rudd Field this season. Hofstra also spoiled senior night for Elon’s six-member senior class of Berkane, Jeiger, Marcel Fahrenholz, Jack Willbye, Jahmeil Curwen and Nicolas Resusta Galdos.
Elon closes out the 2018 campaign at James Madison on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.