Spartans await tourney destiny after falling at Elon, 1-0
ELON, N.C. - Justin Wyatt's goal early in the second half was the only score of the night as Elon clinched a Southern Conference Tournament bid, defeating UNC Greensboro, 1-0, in men's soccer action Saturday night.
Despite the loss UNCG still holds a slim hope for a berth into Southern Conference Tournament. The Spartans, 6-9-3 overall, 3-3-1 in conference play, are finished their regular season. Furman, 3-3-0 in league play and 8-7-2 overall, still has a makeup match with College of Charleston on Tuesday at 3 p.m. If Furman wins that match, it would make the conference tournament. A Furman tie or loss would put UNCG into the tournament. The Spartans do hold the tiebreaker over the Paladins by virtue of their win over Furman earlier this season.
Elon clinched a spot in the tournament with the win, moving to 9-7-2 overall, 4-2-0 in league play. It will face College of Charleston in a semifinal round match. The teams will determine who is the higher seed with their make-up matches this week. Elon still has a game with Georgia Southern on Monday.
The conference tournament opens on Friday at Wofford, which wrapped up the regular season title and No. 1 seed earlier in the week. The Terriers won their first-ever SoCon regular season crown in men's soccer with a 4-3 win over Furman on Wednesday. Wofford will face either UNCG or Furman in a semifinal match.
On Saturday against UNCG, Elon's Wyatt had the only tally of the night early in the second half. With 7:33 gone in the second half, Brad Franks played a through ball that Wyatt hooked into the upper corner of the goal for his fifth goal of the season.
That tally held up as Clint Irwin recorded his ninth shutout of the season for the Phoenix. UNCG's Peyton Ford made five saves in goal.
Elon had a 20-11 advantage in shots. The teams had played an even opening half with the shots sitting in Elon's favor, 9-6, at the intermission. But the Phoenix had seven of the first eight shots to open the second half, including Wyatt's marker.
UNCG................ 0 0 - 0
Elon................ 0 1 - 1
1. ELON - Wyatt (Franks), 52:33
Shots: UNCG 11, Elon 20. Saves: UNCG 5 (Peyton Ford 5), Elon 2 (Clint Irwin 2). Corner kicks: UNCG 2, Elon 7. Fouls: UNCG 16, Elon 10.
- UNCG -