ELON, N.C. – Junior Elijah Agu’s hat trick helped the Elon University men’s soccer team to a 6-0 nonconference victory over St. Bonaventure in the opening of the Elon/High Point Classic on Friday night, Sept. 2, at Rudd Field.
Agu netted the first Phoenix hat trick since Kiki Willis had three in 2005 against High Point. It’s also the second multi-goal match of the season for Agu as the Phoenix improved to 2-1. The Bonnies fell to 0-2-1 on the season.
The Phoenix had a few early chances in the match in the opening frame getting off a pair of shots in the first two minutes. Elon finally connected on the scoreboard near the 19th minute when Agu finished a Nick Adamczyk volley from the right side and sent it into the back right corner of the net for an early 1-0 advantage.
Elon continued the attack and put pressure on the Bonnies’ defense. The maroon and gold fired a flurry of shots towards the goal, but could not find the back of the net until the 43rd minute. After a St. Bonaventure foul set up a free kick for the Phoenix from the right side just outside the box, Jack Willbye’s try found the head of freshman Luke Matthews, who netted his first career score from the back left post for a 2-0 lead for Elon heading into the half.
At the half, Elon held a 10-2 lead in shots with seven coming on goal. The Phoenix also had one corner in the opening stanza compared to none for the Bonnies.
The Phoenix started the second period with four shots within the first three minutes. Around the 47th minute, Marcel Fahrenholz hit the post with Jaiden Fortune’s rebound try corralled by the keeper.
However, Elon’s advantage would increase to 3-0 thanks to an Austin Hill header in the 68th minute. Another foul on the Bonnies set up another free kick from the right side with Willbye setting up the set piece. Hill netted his second score of the season after finding the ball near the right post from Willbye’s kick.
Around seven minutes later, Tuki Tayali added his first collegiate to put the Phoenix up 4-0. The freshman striker used his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame to back down his defender and score near the goal line.
Agu finished off the scoring for Elon with a left footed shot from 12-yards out at the 81st minute that made the lead 5-0. He then was able to covert the hat trick in the 87th minute after a shot from near the right post deflected into the goal and ended the game with a 6-0 victory for the Phoenix.
• This is the first 6-0 victory for the Phoenix at the Division I era. The last time Elon won a match 6-0 came against St. Andrews in 1998.
• Elon ended the match with a 30-4 shot differential with 20 coming on goal compared to two for the Bonnies. The Phoenix also had a 7-1 advantage on corners.
• Keeper Matthew Jegier made two saves in goal playing 80 minutes. He was relieved between the posts by redshirt freshman Jimmy Coyle for the final 10 minutes as the pair shared the shutout.
• On the other side, St. Bonaventure’s keeper Luke Iacobellis made 14 saves in the match while playing the full 90 minutes.
• The win improved third-year head coach Chris Little to a 2-0-1 ledger in home openers at Elon.
The Phoenix closes out the weekend and tournament with a game against Detroit on Sunday night, Sept. 4. That game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Rudd Field.