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Elon men's soccer ties program record with win over Coastal Carolina

A late-game penalty kick helped the Phoenix top an opponent that had been ranked sixth in the nation prior to the game.

Senior Daniel Lovitz's conversion on a penalty kick near the 85th minute helped the Elon University men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Coastal Carolina on Tuesday at Rudd Field.

The victory over Coastal Carolina, which had been No. 6 in the country prior to the game, was the second time in two years that Elon had defeated an opponent listed that high in national rankings. The men's soccer team defeated then-No. 6 Charlotte last year with a 2-0 win.

The Phoenix improved to 12-4-1 after earning its first win against the Chanticleers (12-3) since 2000. The victory was also the maroon and gold's second against a top-10 opponent this season since a 1-0 defeat at home on Sept. 17 to then-No. 9 Wake Forest.

Neither team could get on the scoreboard Tuesday in the first half with limited opportunities on each side. Elon threatened in the 37th minute as sophomore midfielder Myles Mansfield was able to beat the Chanticleer's back four, but his shot was corralled by Coastal Carolina goalkeeper Devin Cook. Both teams went into the half scoreless with Coastal Carolina holding a slight 4-2 advantage on shots and leading the Phoenix in corner kicks.

The Phoenix took its first lead of the game in the 69 minute. Midfielder James Brace scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season to put the Phoenix up 1-0. The sophomore from Hartlepool, England, took a feed from on a cross and sent the shot past Cook into the back right corner of the net.

The momentum was swayed the other way when the Chanticleers converted on the equalizer in the 78th minute. Justin Portillo fired a shot that was blocked by the defense, but Elon could not clear it and Coastal Carolina's Pedro Ribeiro converted on the rebound to tie the match at 1-1.

The Phoenix continued its offensive pressure on CCU with Lovitz being one of the main catalysts. The midfielder earned a penalty kick after being taken down on the left side in the box resulting in the first penalty kick attempt of the year. The Wyndmoor, Pa., native placed a low shot to the left on frame past Cook to put Elon up 2-1. 

The goal was Lovitz's third of the season and ended up being his third game-winner as the Phoenix held off the Chanticleers and gave Coastal Carolina its first loss since a 2-1 setback to then 15th-ranked Charlotte on Sept. 6.
Elon closes out the regular-season on Saturday, Nov. 2, with a home match versus Southern Conference foe and I-40 rival UNCG with kick slated for a 7 p.m. start. The Phoenix will also recognize its senior class prior to the match. 

Eric Townsend,
10/30/2013 8:55 AM