The Elon University women’s soccer team’s season came to a devastating end following a 1-0 overtime loss to James Madison University on Sunday, Oct. 26. Senior defender Sam Lofton scored the winner for the Dukes with a penalty kick in the 95th minute.

James Madison nearly took the early lead in the third minute. Sophomore forward Ashley Herndon delivered a corner, got the ball back and fired a shot that was saved by Elon freshman goalkeeper Hanna Macaulay.

Freshman forward Grace Bennett had a pair of chances for the Phoenix in the sixth and ninth minutes, but neither shot made it on target. Bennett and the rest of the team failed to manage a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. 

Macaulay was called into action again in the 12th minute as the San Diego, Calif., native kept out a shot from Lofton. She would have another chance in the 37th minute, but her effort went wide of the goal.

Elon had a pair of chances to break the deadlock early in the second half. In the 48th minute, sophomore defender Erin Tanhauser’s shot went wide after getting on the end of a corner from senior forward Raychel Diver. Then Diver had a scoring chance of her own in the 50th minute, but couldn’t steer her shot inside the post.

The Phoenix didn’t get its first shot on frame until in the 59th minute when junior defender Mel Insey’s effort was saved by Towson junior goalkeeper Ellen Forrest.

Senior goalkeeper Kate Murphy made a number of key saves late in regulation to keep the game scoreless in her final collegiate appearance.  Murphy denied Lofton in the 80th minute, Herndon in the 83rd minute, junior forward Rachel Ivey in the 86th minute and freshman midfielder Alison Bortell in the 89th minute.

James Madison didn’t let the match go much longer as Lofton converted from the penalty spot to seal the victory less than five minutes into the first overtime period.

Elon wraps up its inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association with just one win and will not qualify for the conference tournament.


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