It was a beautiful fall day for Sunday, Oct. 26’s men’s soccer matchup between the Elon University Phoenix and the James Madison University Dukes.
The play of both teams, though, was rather lackluster in a 0-0 draw at Rudd Field.
Coming off a big win against Duke University last Wednesday, the Phoenix struggled to generate any tempo throughout the match against a James Madison team that appeared to be inferior on paper.
“It was a scrappy, Sunday afternoon type game.” Elon head coach Chris Little said. “The ball wasn’t moving quickly and I think as the game went on, we were good but just didn’t do enough to get the goal unfortunately.”
Elon did not come close to its 17 shots on net showing against Duke, managing only nine to James Madison’s six.
Junior midfielder James Brace had the most shots in total for the Phoenix with three while having a shot on goal as well.
The goalkeepers for both teams had slow days as the most saves recorded were by redshirt sophomore Kyle Morton of the Dukes with three. Elon’s goalkeeper, senior Nathan Dean, had a slower afternoon than his adversary.
“It was a bit difficult in the beginning to get the game going but both teams had that.” Dean said. “Up until this game we have been pretty good and things should come together in the last two games.”
Things started to get a bit chippy towards the end of the second half with both teams receiving three yellow cards.
The Phoenix played a pretty good match on the defensive side of the ball, not letting the Dukes get many shots on goal. This was especially evident in both overtime periods where Elon remained in James Madison territory for the majority of play.
Elon senior forward Jason Waterman only played 75 minutes but made his presence felt downfield in the second half. Waterman voiced his disappointment at the end of the game.
“We didn’t really come out strong as we have in the past couple of games which is pretty disappointing.” he said. “No one is going to give us the league championship which is what we’re aiming for. We’re going to have to earn it every day.”
The Phoenix (8-4-4, 3-1-2 CAA) will look to rebound Wednesday at the College of Charleston (2-9-3, 0-4-2 CAA) as it approaches the start of the CAA tournament.