It looked for the majority of the game as if the Elon University men’s soccer team was going to suffer a backbreaking loss to the Colonial Athletic Association’s worst team — College of Charleston — at the worst time.
Instead, the Phoenix scored the tying goal in the latter stages of the second half to send the game into overtime, and was then able to net the golden goal at the beginning of the second overtime to escape with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
With a loss, the Phoenix’s shot at the CAA regular season title and, with it, the opportunity to host the conference tournament, would have disappeared. But Elon’s win, coupled with a tie between Hofstra University and Northeastern University, the Phoenix just needs to beat the University of Delaware on Nov. 2 in Newark to take the regular season crown.
The Cougars, who have gone winless since Sept. 7 and are in last place in the CAA, opened the scoring in the 43rd minute. Sophomore forward Nico Rittmeyer took a pass at the top of the 18-yard box and beat Elon senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean in the bottom right corner for his first goal of the season.
But the Phoenix responded in the 70th minute. Junior forward Chad Craig slipped a bouncing ball in the box past College of Charleston junior goalkeeper Alex Young for his second goal of the year to knot the game at 1-1.
After neither team could find the deciding goal in the last half hour of regulation, or in the first overtime, senior forward Jason Waterman finally won it with his fourth goal of the season in the 105th minute.
Craig chipped a ball into the box that Waterman was able to get to before Young and knocked it in to give the Phoenix the result they desperately needed.
With the victory, the Phoenix improves to 9-4-4 overall, and 4-1-2 in conference play.
Elon will conclude the regular season with a pivotal CAA match against Delaware at 1 p.m. Nov. 2.