ELON, N.C. – A first-half goal from senior Tuki Tayali proved to be the difference maker as the Elon University men’s soccer team earned a 1-0 victory over Appalachian State on Tuesday night, Sept. 17, at Rudd Field.
The win snapped the Phoenix’s three-game losing skid while improving Elon’s record to 2-3-1 overall on the season. The victory was also the first on Elon’s home pitch since October of 2017, closing out the Phoenix’s four-game homestand on a winning note over the Mountaineers (4-2).
The Phoenix applied pressure to the Mountaineers from the onset, peppering Appalachian State with four shots in the first 10 minutes. Elon’s best chance during that stretch came in the fifth minute as Mattias Cooper took a cross from Nick Adamczyk near the six-yard area, but saw the keeper make the save.
Elon would get on the scoreboard inside the 17th minute. The Phoenix drew a foul inside the box and was rewarded a penalty kick. Tayali took the assignment, but his attempt was thwarted by Mountaineers’ netminder Jacob Madden. Tayali however quickly found the carom and slotted it past the scrambling defense to put the Phoenix up 1-0.
The Phoenix defense held ASU without a shot until the 31st minute of the opening stanza and had a 9-3 shot advantage in the first period. Elon also had the lone corner in the opening frame.
In the second half, Appalachian State would play with a man down after a red card was handed out in the 48th minute. The Phoenix looked to take advantage of the situation with Adamczyk looking to put Elon up two scores with a shot near the top of the box in the 59th minute. The redshirt senior was turned away by Madden, keeping the Mountaineers within reach.
The Phoenix and Tayali had another look on goal in the 63rd minute, but Madden was there again with the save and did so again on another shot by Tayali in the 66th minute. The Mountaineers responded with its best look of the night for the equalizer in the 71st minute. Brady Gunter took a one touch strike towards the left post off a cross, but Elon’s keeper Alex Lorne was able to knock it out of play to keep the shutout intact.
Lorne would make one more save in the 76th minute, preserving the clean sheet. Tayali’s opening half goal proved to be the game-winner as the Phoenix came away with the 1-0 win. Lorne finished the evening with the two saves while earning a shutout in his first career start.
Elon travels to Hofstra for its first true road contest of the season and a jump back into Colonial Athletic Association play this Saturday, Sept. 21. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.