It was Senior Day for seven Elon University men’s soccer players on a beautiful day at Rudd Field. In a matchup with a tough College of Charleston squad, Elon’s senior class came up huge  to help the Phoenix earn a 3-2 win.

Charleston got off to a fast start, netting a penalty after Elon was called for a foul at the top of the box just six minutes into the match. Led by its seven seniors, the veteran group didn’t panic. 

“We knew it was going to be like this, it wasn’t going to be a three nil type of game, they were gonna score,” senior Mason Duval said. “After that first goal, we had to regroup. We know we were the much better team, we just had to play our football.”

Regroup is exactly what they did. Off a corner kick in the 12th minute, Duval got a head on the ball, putting it in the bottom corner of the goal just six minutes after the Cougars tally. This swung the momentum back to Elon, as fellow senior Jeppe Jordoson found the back of the net off a beautiful ball from sophomore midfielder Scott Vatne in the 22nd minute. Elon dominated possession in Charleston’s half of the field, generating five first half corners to the Cougars’ one. 

However, sometimes in soccer, controlling the game does not matter. In the 73rd minute, the Cougars scored to quiet the crowd at Rudd Field and tie the game at 2-2. A couple minutes later, Duval was subbed back in. Then, with 10 minutes left in the game, freshman Majaliwa Msabaha found Vemund Hole Vik’s foot, and the senior scored to put Elon ahead again. 

“When I saw the [Charleston] goal, I came on and I knew since it was the last 15 minutes, I might as well just give it my all,” Mason said. “We were able to pull through together as a group and get the result we needed.”

As Elon looked to remain at the top of the Colonial Athletic Association standings, head coach Marc Reeves said he knew how important this game was. 

“I’m really pleased for the seniors that we won today. It’s a massive thing and obviously in terms of the league, it’s a big deal,” Reeves said. 

In a game full of lead changes and momentum swings, Reeves said he was thrilled with the group’s ability to quickly adapt. 

“You notice the fighting spirit within the group. There’s good depth, we had to use different guys off the bench today, which is always important in a college soccer game,” Reeves said. “We were obviously desperate to get all three points and not just tie at home. Finding a way at the end there was important.” 

With the win, Elon guaranteed that it will host a semifinal game in the CAA Tournament on Nov. 6. The first-place Phoenix looks forward to an enormous matchup with the University of North Carolina Wilmington on Oct. 29. With the Seahawks’ 1-0 win against Stony Brook earlier today, the stage is set for a winner take all contest in Wilmington for the CAA regular season title.