Archive for the Game Recaps Category

Second Half Goals Propel Wofford Past Elon for Conference Title

Posted in Game Recaps on November 16, 2009 by elonmenssoccer

erfansocon_ms_400_233SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Back-to-back second-half goals by the Wofford Terriers proved the difference as the Elon men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss to the Terriers in the Southern Conference Championship match at Snyder Field on Sunday afternoon. Down two goals, Elon (10-8-2) managed to cut the lead in half with 20 minutes remaining in the game, but Wofford (12-2-3) held on to win its first conference title and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Terriers got on the board in the 63rd minute on a score by Wilson Hood. Scott Redding came streaking through the middle of the field, sending the ball wide right to Hood. The striker fired his seventh goal of the season to the far corner to put Wofford up 1-0 at the 62:47 mark.

The momentum shifted Wofford’s direction and in the 71st minute the Terriers increased their advantage. Kentral Owens was able to win the ball from Elon’s back line and found himself one-on-one with Elon keeper Clint Irwin. Owens managed to put the ultimate game-winner past Irwin into the middle of the net.

Elon didn’t go down easy as the Phoenix continued to pound away at the goal. Elon forced Wofford goalie Thomas Hunter to make five saves, including four in the final period. At 74:27, the Phoenix cut the Wofford lead in half on a score by senior Erfan Imeni. Rookie Chris Thomas sent an attempt on net and Hunter came out to try and cover the ball. The ball slipped out of his grasp and Imeni was there to knock in the loose ball to the right corner.

Elon raced to get the equalizer as the play clock wound down. Thomas headed numerous balls at the goal but Hunter continued to clear away any Elon threat and Wofford hung on for the win.

The Phoenix had one of its best opportunities in the early going of the second half. Imeni made a strong run down the right side, beating defenders and sending a cross into the box. Thomas touched the ball at the net, but Hunter managed to lean right and cover the ball.

Thomas had another good look at the net in the first half, sliding an attempt just wide left in the 15th minute of action. The league freshman of the year had five shots on the afternoon.

  Irwin, Thomas and Imeni each earned all-tournament honors for Elon. 

Elon was forced to play without one of the best players in the SoCon as an injury kept senior defender Steven Kinney on the sidelines. Senior back Orry Powers also went down with an injury midway through the first half. Seven Elon seniors played in their final Southern Conference match. This class has earned 38 victories during its four seasons in the maroon and gold.  

The NCAA Tournament field will be announced Monday at 5:30 on ESPN NEWS. The loss leaves the Phoenix very much on the bubble for an at-large bid.

Box Score

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com)

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Elon Advances to SoCon Title Game With 2 Goals from Thomas

Posted in Game Recaps on November 14, 2009 by elonmenssoccer

CTSPARTANBURG, S.C. – Elon freshman Chris Thomas knocked in two first-half goals to lead the Phoenix men’s soccer team to a 2-0 win over College of Charleston in the semifinals of the 2009 Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament on Friday night at Snyder Field. Elon (10-7-2) advances to the league championship game for the first time in program history.

The shutout was the Elon’s 10th of the year, tying the school record set by the 1987 and 1988 squads. Junior goalkeeper Clint Irwin moved into a tie for first place on Elon’s career shutout list with 19 overall. Irwin posted three saves in the winning effort.

“This was a good team performance tonight against a well-organized Charleston team who always makes the game very difficult,” Elon head coach Darren Powell said. “We are very excited to be playing in our first championship game and now our job is to prepare the team for our next opponent.”

The recently named league freshman of the year, Thomas made his presence known with back-to-back goals within five minutes of each other to give the Phoenix a commanding lead before the half. The rookie scored the ultimate game-winner in the 36th minute of action, knocking in an attempt from about 10 yards out off a deflected shot by fellow freshman Gabe Latigue.

Shortly after, Thomas found the back of the net again. CofC goalie Clark Hankins was drawn out of the box and Thomas took advantage, cushioning the Elon lead at the 39:14 mark. The goals were Thomas’ ninth and tenth of the season.

The Cougars had their best chance to get on the board in the 85th minute of action when they were awarded a penalty kick. Irwin stopped Matt Morris’ attempt, sending it off the left post.

For the game, Elon outshot CofC 16-13, including a 10-4 advantage in the opening 45 minutes. The Phoenix also held a 9-7 advantage in corner kicks.

The victory was Elon’s first over College of Charleston in the SoCon Tournament, avenging a 4-1 loss to the Cougars in last year’s semifinal contest. The Phoenix has won two straight matches against CofC and three of the last four.

 The Phoenix will battle top-seed and tournament-host Wofford for the league title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at 2 p.m.  The Terriers won the regular season meeting 2-0 on October 18th.

Box Score

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com; photo SoCon)

Wyatt’s Goal Lifts Phoenix on Senior Night over UNCG, 1-0

Posted in Game Recaps on November 8, 2009 by elonmenssoccer

Wyattfront_ms_400_233ELON, N.C. – Justin Wyatt’s goal in the 53rd minute of action propelled the Elon men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over local rival UNC Greensboro in a key Southern Conference matchup on Saturday night at Rudd Field. With the victory, Elon clinched one of the three remaining spots in the upcoming league tournament as it moved to 4-2 in conference play. The Phoenix improved to 9-7-2 overall, securing its fourth consecutive winning season. The Spartans’ (6-9-3, 3-3-1) playoff hopes lie in the result of the final SoCon matchup — a contest between the College of Charleston and Furman that will be played on Tuesday.

“This was a highly competitive game with a lot at stake for both teams,” stated Elon head coach Darren Powell. “It was an entertaining match and we are just glad to have come out with the three points. Now, we will focus on preparing the team for the conference tournament next week.”

After seeing several opportunities snuffed out by the Spartans, Wyatt finally landed one of his game-high seven attempts at 52:33. Junior Brad Franks played a beautiful ball to an open Wyatt in the box. The senior hooked the ultimate game-winner into the upper right corner from about 10 yards out for his fifth goal of the season.

Elon came out with a nose for the goal, creating havoc for the UNCG back line and goalkeeper Peyton Ford. In the opening minutes of the physical contest, senior Erfan Imeni sent a through ball to a streaking Wyatt whose chip shot sailed over the goal. A minute later, Franks set up Daniel Street but the midfielder’s powerful attempt went high. In the 17th minute, Elon’s Gabe Latigue had an open look from the right side, but Ford made a good stop to keep the game scoreless.

UNCG managed only two shots on goal, both coming in the opening half. Thomas Campbell forced Phoenix keeper Clint Irwin to make a diving save on his shot from the left side midway through the opening 45 minutes.

The final period was more of the same for the Phoenix. In the 48th minute, Wyatt nearly put Elon on the board but Ford managed to punch out the headed shot. Immediately after, Franks passed another ball to Wyatt in the box, but Ford came out and covered the ball to prevent an Elon score.

Elon finished the contest with a 20-11 advantage in the shot column. The Phoenix took seven corner kicks compared to two by the visitors. Ford posted five saves while Irwin recorded two stops in his ninth clean slate of the season. The nine shutouts are the most in the SoCon and the most by an Elon team since the 1988 squad earned 10.

The Phoenix honored seven seniors prior to the contest. Imeni, Street, Wyatt, Clint Collins, Steven Kinney, Stephen Miller and Orry Powers have helped the program to four consecutive winning seasons, the first time that has happed during Elon’s Division I history and the first time since the mid-80s. The group will be looking to lead Elon to its first-ever SoCon Tournament title next weekend at Wofford.

Box Score

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com )

Schuler, #2 Tar Heels too Much for Phoenix, 2-1

Posted in Game Recaps on November 6, 2009 by elonmenssoccer

thomas2_ms_400_233ELON, N.C. — Sophomore Billy Schuler scored a goal in each half to lead the second-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels to a 2-1 win over the Elon Phoenix in non-conference men’s soccer action from Rhodes Stadium on Tuesday night. Elon dropped to 8-7-2 on the season, while UNC improved to 12-2-2 overall and finished its non-conference slate with an unbeaten record for the first time since 2005.

“I thought our guys played hard until the final whistle against a very talented Carolina team,” commented Elon head coach Darren Powell. “We just have to keep learning from these big games in preparation for the final push of the year.”

Both squads came out of the gates firing, with each team getting solid looks at the net. In the third minute of action, Elon senior Erfan Imeni rocketed a left-footed shot from about 18 yards out but it sailed just high of the net. Shortly after, rookie Chris Thomas nearly put Elon on the board, but his header ricocheted off the cross bar. The ball deflected back into the field of play, directly to the foot of senior Justin Wyatt. Wyatt’s attempt off the deflection went right at UNC keeper Scott Goodwin who was there to make the stop.

Midway through the opening half, UNC’s Michael Farfan had a chance to put the Heels on top, but his shot from the right side glanced of the near post and out of bounds. With less than four minutes remaining in the period, Schuler got his first score of the game, dribbling through the defense in the box and blasting his sixth goal of the season to the middle of the net from about 12 yards out.

Schuler cushioned the Carolina advantage in the 60th minute. Possessing the ball deep on the left side of the field, Schuler slid a low shot along the edge of the goal line to the far post to give UNC the 2-0 lead at 59:20.

Elon managed to cut the lead in half in the 75th minute. Imeni centered the ball to James Carroll in the middle of Elon’s offensive third. Carroll served the ball to the right side where Thomas lofted his team-leading eighth goal of the season over Goodwin into the far corner at 74:42.

The score ignited the Phoenix as the home team aimed for the equalizer during the remaining minutes of the contest. The UNC back line cleared away any Elon threat to secure the 2-1 victory.

North Carolina outshot Elon 22-9 and held an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks. Phoenix goalie Clint Irwin posted nine saves in the contest while Goodwin corralled three Elon attempts.

Elon will face Southern Conference rival UNC Greensboro on Saturday, November 7 at Rudd Field. The Phoenix will honor seven seniors prior to the game’s kick at 7 p.m.

Box Score

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com)

Second Half Surge Propels Elon to Victory over Radford, 2-0

Posted in Game Recaps on October 31, 2009 by elonmenssoccer

franks2_ms_400_233RADFORD, Va. – The Elon men’s soccer team netted two second-half goals en route to a 2-0 victory over the host Radford Highlanders in Friday night non-conference action at Cupp Stadium. The Phoenix recorded its eighth shutout performance of the year, improving to 8-6-2 overall. Radford fell to 4-7-2 on the season.

“It was nice to get a win in our last regular-season game on the road against a well-organized Radford team,” Elon head coach Darren Powell said. “It took us awhile to break them down and when we finally did, we got two late goals. Now we have to prepare for a visit from one of the best teams in the country in North Carolina on Tuesday.”

After a scoreless first half, Elon broke the tie in the 70th minute of action. The Phoenix had failed to connect on a few opportunities early in the period. Freshman Chris Thomas rocketed a shot on goal, forcing Highlander keeper Ryan Taylor to make the stop. Taylor was unable to cover the ball and senior Justin Wyatt was there to finish for the Phoenix. Wyatt put Elon up 1-0 on his fourth goal of the season at 69:37.

The score ignited the Phoenix and in the 80th minute, Taylor dove to get a hand on an attempt by Elon’s Stephen Miller. This time, Brad Franks was there to knock in the goal off the rebound from about 12 yards out. Franks was credited with his third marker of the season, increasing the Phoenix advantage to 2-0.

Elon’s back line had another strong performance, keeping the Radford attack at bay. The Highlanders saw their best opportunity to get on the board late in the opening half. Radford’s Rad Zimmer lined up to take a penalty kick after a Phoenix foul in the box. Elon goalkeeper Clint Irwin made an impressive save off Zimmer’s shot to the left to help keep the shutout intact.

The Phoenix held a decisive advantage in the shot tally at 17-9, including an 11-3 edge on goal. Irwin finished with three saves while Taylor turned in nine stops.

Elon will face its final non-conference opponent of the year when it hosts No. 3 North Carolina on Tuesday, Nov. 3 in Rhodes Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Box Score

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com)

Imeni, Thomas Make it Rain on Eagles: Phoenix Cruise 4-0

Posted in Game Recaps on October 28, 2009 by elonmenssoccer

imeni2_ms_400_233ELON, N.C. – The Elon men’s soccer team coupled a strong offensive performance with an impressive defensive showing to earn a 4-0 shutout over the visiting Winthrop Eagles under a steady rainfall at Rudd Field in non-conference soccer action on Tuesday night. The Phoenix put a halt to Winthrop’s scoring streak, which ranked first in the country at 21 consecutive games. Senior Erfan Imeni and freshman Chris Thomas each netted two goals in the victory as Elon improved to 7-6-2 on the year. Winthrop suffered its first loss in the last eight games, dropping to 10-3-2 overall.

“It was nice to get a win again,” commented Elon head coach Darren Powell. “We came out strong and scored a couple of good goals and then defended well against a high-powered Winthrop team.”

The Phoenix got on the board quickly, scoring in the 10th minute of the contest. Senior defender Steven Kinney sent the ball down the right side of the field to rookie Gabe Latigue. Latigue served the ball towards the middle of the field, finding Imeni who rocketed his first goal of the season from about 30 yards out at the 9:24 mark.

Elon dominated the possession and Imeni added to the Phoenix lead in the 21st minute. Senior Justin Wyatt curled the ball to the low far post and Imeni finished the play from six yards out to put Elon on top, 2-0.

Elon continued its relentless attack, netting its third goal of the half just four minutes later. Wyatt pushed a pass forward to a streaking Thomas who knocked in his sixth score of the season, sending a shot to the far post from 15 yards out. 

The Phoenix held a 3-0 lead after 45 minutes, not allowing a single Winthrop shot on goal in the opening period.

In the 62nd minute, Thomas increased his team-leading scoring total to seven, blasting an attempt from about 15 yards out into the far corner of the net. Winthrop had no answer and the Elon back line held firm to earn the squad’s seventh clean slate of the season.

Phoenix keeper Clint Irwin recorded two saves in the winning effort. Enrique Miranda stopped four shots in the net for the Eagles. Elon controlled the attack, outshooting Winthrop 16-10, including an 8-2 tally on goal.

Elon will play its final road game of the regular season when it travels to Radford on Friday, October 30 at 7 p.m.

Box Score

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com)

Phoenix Suffer Second Straight SoCon Defeat at Furman, 3-2

Posted in Game Recaps on October 25, 2009 by elonmenssoccer

thomas1_ms_400_233GREENVILLE, S.C. – Caleb Suri’s goal in the 74th minute was the difference as the Furman Paladins pulled out a 3-2 victory over the visiting Elon Phoenix in Southern Conference men’s soccer action from Stone Soccer Stadium on Saturday night. Elon suffered its second consecutive league loss, falling to 6-6-2 overall and 3-2-0 in the SoCon. Furman improved to 7-6-2, 2-2-0.

With the game tied 2-2 in the second half, Suri played a give-and-go with teammate Brooks Duff before drilling a shot from the top of the 18-yard box to put the Paladins back on top. Suri’s first goal of the season proved the game-winner as Elon was unable to get the equalizer in the remaining minutes.

Furman got on the board quickly to open the match. Jonathan Collier tallied his second goal of the season, sending a low shot from the left side of the field into the far corner of the net to put the home team on top 1-0 at the 7:27 mark.

Elon managed to get several shots off after giving up the score, but it was Furman who tacked on another goal in the 22nd minute. Jordan Howard sent a free kick into the box where Nasarachi Onyeuku punched in the goal from about six yards out as the Paladins took a 2-0 lead.

The Phoenix kept up its pressure and managed to cut the Paladin advantage in half in the 27th minute when freshman Chris Thomas netted his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Senior Justin Wyatt crossed the ball from the right side in the box to Thomas who slid the shot past Furman keeper Alec Kann.

Minutes later Elon evened the score on an own goal at the 32:43 mark. Onyeuku attempted to clear a bouncing ball out of the box, but the ball glanced off his foot and looped over Kann to tie the match. The momentum shifted and the Phoenix got off several shots and earned three corner kicks before the end of the half, but couldn’t get the go-ahead score as the game remained knotted after 45 minutes.

The Phoenix outshot the Paladins 13-11 in the game, but Furman attempted six shots compared to only three by Elon in the final period. Elon took five corner kicks to Furman’s two. In the net, Kann stopped five Elon shots and Phoenix keeper Clint Irwin corralled four attempts.

Elon will take a break from league action for the next three matches, beginning with a home contest against Winthrop on Tuesday, October 27. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Rudd Field.

Box Score

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com)