DURHAM, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team battled hard for 110 minutes on Sunday, Sept. 1, earning a 3-3 draw against Furman on the final day of the John Rennie/Nike Invitational at Koskinen Stadium on the campus of Duke University.
Elon (1-0-1) concluded the tournament unbeaten and finished second overall to the host Blue Devils, who won both of their matches over the weekend including a 1-0 win over Furman (0-1-1) on Friday night. It was the second time in the last three seasons that Elon has gone unbeaten at the tournament.
The Phoenix had three members of its team earn All-Tournament accolades with Valdi Jonsson, Christian Lauenborg and John Walden representing Elon.
Furman was on the attack early, scoring a goal three minutes into the match. The Paladins’ Conor Sloan found Cole McLagan on a through ball from the right side as McLagan put Furman ahead 1-0.
The Phoenix would tie the match at one-all on Jonsson’s second goal of the weekend near the 26th minute. The sophomore beat his defender on a long ball and was able to slot it past the keeper to make it a tie game.
Nearly six minutes later, Elon took the lead on a goal from Kasper Lehm. Lauenborg fired a shot near the top-half of the penalty area where the keeper looked to make the stop. Kehm however quickly redirected the ball from the left side before the netminder could corral it and put Elon ahead 2-1.
Furman tied the match again in the 37th minute. Elon was called for a foul inside the box off a Paladin free kick, rewarding Furman with a penalty kick. McLagan took the assignment and scored his second of the match to tie the contest at 2-2 before intermission.
After the break, Elon responded to take the lead again with a penalty kick of its own. Lauenborg scored his second goal of the tournament in the 51st minute as the Phoenix retook the lead, 3-2.
The Phoenix continued to hold off the attack from Furman over the next 20 minutes. The Paladins however would find the equalizer on a bending shot from about 20 yards off the foot of Callum Holland in the 72nd minute. The Phoenix would have one final shot on goal in regulation before the match went into extras.
In the first overtime period, both teams combined for one shot attempt, which came from Elon’s JP Meibohm in the 94th minute. His attempt was stopped by the keeper as both teams geared for a second extra session.
Elon gained an advantage in the second overtime when a Furman player received a red card in the 104th minute. The Phoenix looked to add pressure to the Paladins’ defense, who were a man down for the remainder of the match.
The Phoenix’s best chance at the evasive golden goal came with 50 seconds left. Tuki Tayali sent a low through ball from the right side that nearly found the foot of a couple of Phoenix players. The pass could not connect as the game eventually concluded with the 3-3 draw.
Elon hosts Rutgers in its home-opener this Saturday, Sept. 7. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Rudd Field.