DURHAM, N.C.—The freshman trio of Marco Hjorth, Jeppe Moe and Jared Huber each scored goals in leading Stetson to a season-opening 3-2 win over Elon, Friday at the Nike Invitational hosted by Duke. It’s the first victory for rookie head coach Ernie Yarborough.
Stetson was facing the Phoenix in practically their backyard. Elon’s campus is located in Burlington, N.C., just 35 miles from Durham.
“It’s good for Stetson soccer, regardless of whom we played or where we played them,” said Yarborough. “It’s great to get the year started on the right foot. Elon is a very good team. They made the game difficult, and it’s one we should be proud to win.”
Sophomore Paul Ladwig was stout in goal for the Hatters, making seven saves on a day in which he faced 18 shots from the Phoenix. His played, combined with the efforts of the freshman please Yarborough.
“Paul did very well to keep us in the match throughout, especially in the first half,” he said. “It was great for the freshmen to respond to the challenge and have three of them put the ball in the net. That bodes well for the future of the program.”
Hjorth gave Stetson an early 1-0 lead, scoring an unassisted goal in the 21st minute.
Stetson took the 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime before Elon’s Miguel Salazar tallied the equalizer in the 60th minute, scoring from 18 yards out.
Moe gave Stetson a lead it would not relinquish. His blast from 30 yards away went into the right side of the net in the 69th minute. Huber followed less than five minutes later, connecting with Sebastian Contreras to make it a 3-1 lead.
Elon pulled to within 3-2 with a goal with just over eight minutes remaining, but the Hatters held on for the win.
Stetson managed just nine shots, but seven were on-goal. Elon keeper made four saves.
The Hatters continue play in the Nike Invitational when they face Duke, 2:30 p.m., Sunday.