In what has become the theme of the 2014 season, the College of Charleston men’s soccer team fought hard, but ultimately dropped a double overtime thriller to Elon, 2-1, in the home season finale on Wednesday night.
Charleston (2-10-3, 0-5-2 CAA) looked to spoil Elon’s quest for the number one seed in the CAA, as they got on the board first when Nico Rittmeyer scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season on an assist by Cesar Murillo in the 44th minute.
The Cougars were forced to play all but five minutes of the second half with a man down. An incident in front of Charleston’s goal saw a penalty kick awarded to Elon and the Cougars’ senior forward Troy Peterson ejected with a red card. Elon’s penalty kick attempt failed, as the shot sailed wide left of the goal.
Charleston held the Phoenix without a goal until the 71st minute, when a bouncing ball in the box was handled by Elon and slipped past Charleston goalie Alex Young for the equalizer.
Both teams pushed the ball into the opposing halves for the rest of regulation, but neither team could find the goal. The first overtime saw more of the same, with somewhat of a slower pace.
In the 105th minute, Elon’s Chad Craig chipped the ball to Jason Waterman at the top of the box, who slipped it past Young for the game winner.
“Again, the guys got after it and deserve so much more than this result,” head coach Ralph Lundy said. “They played their hearts out; the played nearly 60 minutes a man down, and I can’t believe this is the result we are faced with again. It’s a cruel game sometimes.”
The Cougars played their former Southern Conference rival close despite playing 55 minutes with a man down. Elon managed to put just two more shots on goal than Charleston.
The Cougars will close out their regular season on the road at Hofstra on Saturday.