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Rutgers Men’s Soccer defeats Elon 1-0 for best start since 1996

The Scarlet Knights are 3-0 in Jim McElderry’s first season as head coach

Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics

The Rutgers men’s soccer team played its third consecutive road game to begin the 2019 campaign on Saturday night, avenging it’s worst loss from last season. The Scarlet Knights defeated Elon 1-0 in North Carolina a year after losing to the Phoenix by the score of 8-1.

They came out aggressive from the start and held a 6-0 shot advantage in the first 23 minutes of the game. That attacking attitude paid off in the 72nd minute, as continued pressure led to an own goal from Elon, giving Rutgers the decisive score for the victory.

RU outshot Elon 10-8 in the game, as freshman goalkeeper Oren Asher made three saves for his second shutout of the season, two of which came in the final four minutes of the game. In the first three games of his college career the Israeli keeper has a 0.33 goals against average and a 91% save percentage.

Rutgers has won three consecutive road games for the first time since 2015 and is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1996.

First year head coach Jim McElderry has this to say about his team after the victory:

“I think from the start our guys played really well. It was probably the best start to a game we’ve had all year. We created a bunch of chances in the first half and we were unlucky not to have scored a goal. Second half, I thought we played well at times. After we got the goal, we tightened up a bit, but our guys were out there fighting to keep a clean sheet. Elon starting getting really direct, forced us to battle and win a lot of headers and Oren (Asher) made a great save for us at the end. I’m happy how the guys have learned how to compete and win these type of games.”

The Scarlet Knights return home to play two games at Yurcak Field next week. They’ll host Binghamton (1-2) on Tuesday night and then Manhattan (0-2) on Saturday night. Both contests kick off at 7 p.m.