The Elon University men’s soccer team started its home schedule in dominant fashion, scoring twice in the first half and four times in the second half to defeat St. Bonaventure University 6-0 Friday night.
Junior forward Elijah Agu had a hat trick for Elon and now has five goals on the season. Sophomore midfielders Jack Willbye and Nick Adamczyk each tallied two assists.
“I just seem to get in the right places at the right times, and my teammates are giving me great balls,” Agu said. “As long as it keeps going, I’m happy to keep scoring for the team.”
The Phoenix dominated all night as the rain from Tropical Storm Hermine came down consistently, outshooting the Bonnies 30-4 and putting 19 shots on goal compared to two for their opponent. Phoenix head coach Chris Little was encouraged to see that, even with a six-goal win, there was significant room for improvement.
“We’ve played three games and scored 11 goals,” Little said. “We’ve tweaked a few things in the way that we play from last year, and it’s nice to see that paying off. For me, what’s really good is the competition for places. It’s not just one or two guys scoring goals — it’s spread out across our team.”
Agu got the Phoenix on the board in the 19th minute when he volleyed in Adamczyk’s cross. The ball came from outside the tackle box on the right side to just outside the left post, where Agu drilled the ball back across the keeper into the bottom-right corner of the net.
Willbye’s two assists both came off of free kicks, with freshman defender Luke Matthews heading in Elon’s second goal in the 44th minute. It was the first collegiate goal for the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Matthews, who took Willbye’s looping free kick on the far post and found the net.
“Jack’s got great quality on the deliveries and set pieces,” Matthews said. “Luckily, he put one on the back post and I was able to get a head on it.”
Willbye tallied another assist in the 69th minute when his rocket free kick from the right side was headed in by freshman midfielder Austin Hill on the near post.
Elon picked up another goal when Agu found freshman forward Tuki Tayali with his back to the net three feet away. With a defender on his back, Tayali turned left and blasted a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net in the 76th minute for his first collegiate goal.
“It was a great feeling,” Tayali said. “Obviously, I had missed a few, but I tried to keep my head up and my teammates kept creating chances for me. I’m happy I put one away.”
Agu picked up his second goal of the night in the 82nd minute by blasting a shot into the top left corner off his left foot. Adamczyk got his second assist on the night, both times to Agu. Agu nearly got credit for a hat trick, but his shot was saved in the 88th minute, then bounced in off a Bonnie defender for an own goal.
The Phoenix improves to 2-1 on the season with the win. The next match for Elon will be at 7 p.m. Sunday night at home against the University of Detroit Mercy.