HARRISONBURG, Va. – Jack Willbye’s goal in the opening half was all that was needed for the Elon University men’s soccer team to earn its second win versus a top-25 opponent this season as the Phoenix came away with a 1-0 victory at No. 25 James Madison on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Sentara Park.
Elon (5-8-2, 2-5-1 Colonial Athletic Association) snapped the Dukes’ (11-4-2, 6-2 CAA) seven-match unbeaten streak while garnering its second top-25 win of 2018. The Phoenix also defeated No. 20 FIU earlier this season, 3-0.
The win moves the Phoenix into a tie for sixth place in the league standings with Drexel and Northeastern, but Elon will miss the CAA Tournament for the first time since entering the league in 2014. The Dragons and Huskies both hold the tiebreaker over the Phoenix due its head-to-head wins over Elon.
James Madison was the more aggressive team in the opening stanza with a 6-3 shot advantage over the Phoenix. Elon was able to stave off the early and often attack including a save by Matthew Jegier in the sixth minute from Manuel Ferriol.
The Dukes continued to pepper the Phoenix with its attack through the first 19 minutes of the match before Elon had its first shot of the contest. Willbye fired a shot inside the 19th minute, but it was stopped by JMU’s netminder TJ Bush.
Willbye would find the back of the net however in the 38th minute. The Cambridge, England, native drilled a shot into the far post that was slightly deflected for his first goal of the season. The Phoenix moved ahead 1-0 over the Dukes and carried that lead into the break.
Elon held off the Dukes in the second half as JMU chased the equalizer. The Phoenix defense was impressive as the maroon and gold held one of the top offensive teams in the league to only four shots in the second period with none coming on goal.
JMU failed to level the match as the CAA-leader fell for only the second time during league play. Elon also remained unbeaten against the Dukes in its all-time series, 2-0-3, which dates back to when the Phoenix joined the CAA in 2014.
• Jegier ended the match with the one save and posted the 30th clean sheet of his career, extending his program career record. The Charlotte, N.C., native also became only the second player in league history with 30 or more career shutouts.
• Willbye led the Phoenix in shots with three as Elon had seven as a team compared to 10 for the Dukes. All three of Willbye’s shots came on frame while Nick Adamczyk and Christian Lauenborg also had a shot on goal for Elon.
• The victory moved Phoenix head coach Marc Reeves three wins closer to 90 for his career.
• Six Phoenix position players played the full 90 minutes in the match. Among the full-timers was Lauenborg, who made his sixth start of the season in the midfield.
• Elon closed the season with a 4-3-1 record on the road. The four road victories is the most for the Phoenix in a season since 2012.