DURHAM — It was a less than auspicious start for the Elon University men’s soccer team and its new head coach Chris Little, as the Phoenix lost its season opener 1-0 to Stetson University on Aug. 29 at the John Rennie/Nike Classic hosted by Duke University.

Little took over after former coach Darren Powell accepted a job with the Orlando City soccer club of Major League Soccer.

After twenty scoreless minutes to begin the game, the Hatters broke through in the 20th minute. Freshman forward/midfielder Marco Hjorth beat Phoenix senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean one-on-one to give his team the one goal lead.

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The Phoenix responded in the 59th minute when junior midfielder Miguel Salazar hit a low strike into the right hand corner of the goal from 18 yards out, knotting the game at 1-1.

The Hatters were not deterred. They scored two goals in the span of five minutes, with the first coming in the 68th minute and the second in the 73rd.

The Phoenix kept fighting. In the 81st minute, junior defender Nathan Diehl pulled Elon within one on a header off a free kick.

The Phoenix could not find the equalizer, though, and Stetson escaped with the victory.

The Phoenix will conclude play at the event with a Sunday matchup against Loyola Marymount University on Sunday, Aug. 31, at noon.

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