Elon University men’s soccer was crushed at home by the James Madison University Dukes, 6-0. This is the first time the Phoenix has played the Dukes since last year’s 1-0 win for Elon in the last match of the season.
In the first half, Elon (1-3-1) played aggressively, but could not manage a beneficial offensive drive. The Dukes (3-2-0) played on the attack in the first half, with Dukes senior midfielder Manuel Ferriol and freshman forward Dennis Mensah serving as the spark for JMU.
In the first half, Mensah had 3 goals, and Ferriol came away with 2 goals and an assist.
“We got sort of smacked in the mouth early by a very good JMU team,” head coach Marc Reeves said. “[They are] a mature, physically talented group that moves the ball fast and as a head coach, I need to prepare our group to be more ready and better for that and set up to be a little bit more cautious at the start of the game.”
Elon was aggressive, but the James Madison offense took advantage of holes in the Phoenix defensive formation to come away with the early lead. The Phoenix offense did not go down for lack of attempts. They had plenty of opportunities to convert, but could not come up with a goal.
The deficit created opportunities for some of the reserves to gain valuable playing time. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Lorne saw his first collegiate action. Lorne recorded a save in the second half, and performed with a solid defensive presence.
“It's always good getting on the field, obviously, I wish the circumstances were a little different. You know, getting back on the field playing in front of the crowd, everything feels good.” Lorne said. “I just wish it wasn't accompanied by the result."
“We change keepers at halftime and Alex keeps a clean sheet making one big save off of a free kick and distributing the ball with his feet very calmly and well,” Reeves said. “Gives me a decision to make for Tuesday's game.”
The Phoenix has been shut out in the last three games by Rutgers, High Point and James Madison. They look to rebound at home on Tuesday against Appalachian State at 7 p.m. at Rudd Field.