MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – In a thrilling opening to CAA competition, the College of Charleston men’s soccer team (2-1-1) played a hard-fought match against the (RV) Elon Phoenix (3-1-1), and after the tide ebbed and flowed for both teams through 110 minutes of play, the teams wound up walking away from Patriots Point with a 1-1 draw.
• The opening 20 minutes of the game were a feeling-out process for both teams, with nary a shot to be seen. CofC then seized the momentum, and with just 85 seconds to play in the half, Nicolas Jeausseran sailed a free kick over to Vebjorn Krovel, who headed it into the box for a waiting Joseph Terry who poked it home to give CofC the 1-0 lead. It was his second of the season, which leads all Cougars.
• Elon came out of the half firing, and 17 minutes of that finally saw the Phoenix get on the board. Nicholas O’Callaghan set up a sliding Tuki Tayali, who found the back of the net to knot the game up 1-1.
• The Cougars played in survival mode for the remainder of regulation, but when overtime set in, the College turned it up a notch. The game seemed to be over when Niko Rittmeyer hammered one in from the box, but the play was ruled offside.
• Despite allowing a goal, Kevin Shields stood tall, batting away four saves on the night and disrupting many a set piece with his leaping punches.
“I saw a real good first half by us and a very good goal, as well as some chances to score other goals,” head coach Ralph Lundy said. “They took over the second half, and after we got deflated by that second goal, we had to hang on. I think we dominated play in overtime, but we couldn’t quite put them away.”
“Elon’s a team that had an incredible season last year and is very strong this year, and I think we matched them tonight,” Lundy said. “I wanted the win, we got the tie, but in a league like this, that counts. This conference is absolutely unreal, so we’ll walk away with a tie when we have to.”
The Cougars will have the next week to prepare before embarking to the Pacific Northwest for a weekend series against both Seattle and Washington on Friday and Sunday.