By David Aneser, WSOE Sports
The game was a matchup between two North Carolina schools but in the end, the University of North Carolina came out victorious over Elon University 2-1. Early on in the game the Tar Heels, who came into the contest ranked #2 in the nation, looked to be the better side. Elon had their fair share of opportunities though with freshman Chris Thomas and senior Justin Wyatt both having shots going off the woodwork. UNC looked to have the quantity of chances with Elon having the quality. Towards the end of the half UNC looked to be creating chances, culminating in a 41st minute goal by Billy Schuler. He took the ball away from James Carroll 25 yards out, found space and right around the penalty spot fired home a left footed shot that Elon goalie Clint Irwin could do nothing about. At half it seemed that the Phoenix would just need to regroup and come out in the second half looking to equalize.
Carolina came out guns a blazing in the second half looking like they were the team in need of an equalizer. The Tar Heels were slicing their way through the Phoenix defense and Schuler once again slipped through and was able to put in a second. The striker was able to get around the sprawling Irwin and slip in a shot that trickled along the goal line until Elon defender Stephen Miller tried to clear it off the line but the ball bounced off the post. It was a great individual effort by Schuler who with two goals was easily the man of the match.
Elon looked left for dead after a lackluster second half when in the 75th minute, Chris Thomas was slipped in by Erfan Imeni and he neatly slotted the ball into the far post. The game started to open up after the goal with the home side looking for the equalizer. The 1,100 fans at Rhodes Stadium became energized with the feeling that ELon could get back into the game.
The Tar Heels looked certain to have sealed the fate of the Phoenix in the 80th minute when a bad pass by Jahan Threeths was given right to Michael Far fan who chipped Clint Irwin but off the far post the ball bounced right to the goalie on the line. The fans wearing blue thought the ball had crossed the line but the referee and his assistant ruled Irwin had kept it out.
Both teams had late chances, Elon tried to equalize when Brad Franks sent in a free kick that was headed by Hunter Miller but no other Phoenix could get to it. UNC then tried to seal the deal with Enzo Martinez who curled his far post shot just high and wide of the upper 90. UNC halted one final Elon attack with the game finishing 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
Elon’s next game is at home on the 7th against rivals UNC Greensboro. Elon with the loss has a record of 8-7-2 (3-2-0).