Elon 2, William & Mary 1 (OT)
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – A Chris Thomas’ penalty kick goal in overtime was the difference as the Elon Phoenix battled from a 1-0 first-half deficit to earn a 2-1 victory at William & Mary on Wednesday evening. Thomas netted his 37th and 38th career goals in helping Elon defeat the Tribe at the Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field.
The victory was the first for the Phoenix (4-2) over the Tribe (2-4-1) in three all-time meetings. It was also Elon’s fourth win out of its past five matches.
William & Mary certainly did not make things easy for the Phoenix as a Chris Albiston goal in the 36th minute gave the Tribe an early 1-0 advantage. The score would remain unchanged for the rest of the opening stanza thanks to the Tribe’s stingy defense.
The Maroon and Gold’s offense finally came alive when Thomas scored off a Matt Wescoe assist in the 63rd minute from 18 yards out. It was the senior forward’s seventh goal of the season.
For the remainder of regulation, both teams had multiple chances to earn the go-ahead goal, but despite 21 combined shots in the second half, the teams entered overtime tied at 1-1.
The Tribe started off strong in the extra session with three shot attempts in the first three minutes but had two go wide while Elon keeper Nathan Dean stopped another.
In the 96th minute, W&M’s Ryan Flesch earned a yellow card, setting up Thomas with a penalty kick that proved to be game-winner. Thomas ended the night with two goals, his third two-score match of the season.
Dean played every minute between the posts and tied a career high with six saves, including a stop of the Tribe’s Jackson Eskay in the 93rd minute.
Elon outshot William & Mary 22-20, including nine shots on goal. The Phoenix also held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Elon will return to the pitch at home on Saturday to take on No. 6 Charlotte at Rudd Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Wofford 1, USC Upstate 0
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford men’s soccer team defeated the Spartans of USC Upstate 1-0 Wednesday night at Snyder Field. Alex Hutchins scored the lone goal of the match to lead the Terriers to their fifth consecutive victory over the Spartans.
Wofford improved to 5-3-0 this season, while USC Upstate dropped to 2-3-1.
Wofford controlled the majority of the first half but neither team was able to create many quality scoring chances. Wofford outshot Upstate (10-5) and held the edge in corners taken (2-0). Terrier goalkeeper Andrew Drennan recorded three saves in the first period as the teams went to the locker room tied 0-0.
The second half was much more balanced as both teams took only two shots, but two would be all the Terriers needed as Hutchins found the back of the net in the 60th minute. Wofford earned a free kick from the far side of the field after a Spartan foul. Carlos Dominguez Gonzalez delivered the ball into the box, where it was headed on by Connor Davis before Hutchins was able to slot the ball inside the near post past Upstate keeper Dani Alvarado.
The goal was Hutchins’ seventh of the season, and it was the third assist for Dominguez Gonzalez and second for Davis.
The Terriers almost doubled their lead nine minutes later when Nestor Jaramillo found Forrest Lasso with a low pass off a free kick. Lasso fired a shot near post that was just wide as it hit the side netting.
Upstate went on the offensive in the last 15 minutes as it fought hard to score an equalizer. However, Drennan and the Terrier defense were too strong as they were able to secure the 1-0 victory. It was Drennan’s sixth career shutout and his second of the season.
Drennan made three saves on seven shots as he improved to 5-3-0 on the year. Alvarado was tagged with the loss for the Spartans and fell to 2-3-1. He made one save on 12 shots faced.
The Terriers return to the pitch on Tuesday when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to face the eighth-ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina. The match is set to kick off at 7 p.m.
College of Charleston 4, Winthrop 2
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston men’s soccer team produced its finest offense outing of the season in a 4-2 win over Winthrop at Patriots Point on Wednesday evening. The Cougars scored in the second minute and then exploded for three second-half goals in under 10 minutes.
The Cougars, now 4-4-0, dominated virtually every phase of the game and dictated the play through quality ball possession. The Cougars strung passes together cleverly and used that momentum to get forward, resulting in an 18-11 shot advantage and 7-2 corner-kick advantage.
CofC stepped on the gas right away and forced a corner kick in the opening 30 seconds of the game. The Cougars kept the ball in the offensive third following the corner opportunity, and in the second minute, Tyler Vukoder sent a ball into the box in the direction of Sean de Silva. An Eagle defender was able to nudge de Silva off the ball but it fell to Tony Kattreh, who made a miraculous 180-degree turn-and-kick motion to volley the ball into the upper corner of the net.
The Cougars wouldn’t let up from there, keeping the Eagles on the defensive for the entirety of the first 45 minutes and going into the locker room with a 10-4 shot advantage and the one-goal lead.
The second half was equally impressive for the Cougars and they got their first insurance marker in the 55th minute. The Cougars defended an Eagle corner kick well and then exploded out of their own box with numbers moving in the opposite direction.
Tam McGowan started the run by playing the ball to de Silva, who took the ball the length of the left side of the pitch. Shawn Ferguson sprinted the entirety of the field and beat everyone to the Eagles’ six-yard box and volleyed home de Silva’s centering effort to put CofC up 2-0.
The goal provided the Cougars with great momentum, and just over two minutes, later Sam Redmond cut through the ride side of the box and scored back across the goal mouth to his left for his first goal as a Cougar.
Just over two more minutes went by before Kattreh found his way through the left side of the box and made a last-second centering pass. De Silva collected the ball, feigned a shot once and then easily rolled the ball into the net to make it 4-0 Cougars.
Winthrop finally got on the board in the 67th minute with Mason Lavallet’s team-high fourth goal of the season, which he achieved by running on to a ball played into the box by Achille Obougou and volleying it home.
The Eagles would add one more in the 88th minute when Marc Segara found a ball rattling around in a crowded box and snuck it into the net, but the comeback effort would prove too little, too late as the Cougars would hang on for the 4-2 win.
The road gets tough for the Cougars with matches against No. 18 Coastal Carolina, No. 1 Maryland and No. 27 Furman up next for Lundy’s squad. CofC travels to Conway, S.C., for the Coastal matchup on Tuesday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.