ELON, N.C. – After going unbeaten in its two home matches last week, the Elon University men’s soccer team returns on the road for a non-conference meeting at Radford on Saturday, Sept. 20. The Phoenix and the Highlanders are scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. at Cupp Stadium.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Saturday and throughout the season with live updates on elonphoenix.com. Live stats for every men’s soccer match will be available on the team’s schedule and home pages on the Elon athletic website as well as an opportunity to sign up for text alerts. The match will also be streamed online for free through the Big South Network. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores or the program’s handle @elonmenssoccer.
As former Big South Conference foes, the Phoenix and the Highlanders are meeting for the 18th in a series that dates back to 1998. Radford holds a 9-6-2 lead all-time over Elon, but the maroon and gold won the most recent contest last season with a 1-0 victory in Elon. James Brace scored the lone goal and game-winner in that contest while goalkeeper Nathan Dean made six saves in the shutout.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix earned its third victory of the season on Sunday, Sept. 14, with a 1-0 defeat over West Virginia. Brace tallied his second goal of the season with his score in the 67th minute while the maroon and gold posted its fourth shutout of the year. The clean sheet was also the 20th in Dean’s career, moving him into sole possession of second-place all-time in school history in career shutouts.
The Phoenix backline defense has played at a high level so far this season, limiting opponents to 10 shots per match and has not allowed a regulation goal in its previous five games. Dean has posted a GAA of 0.64 and a save percentage of .840 in the young season and his six clean sheets currently leads the Colonial Athletic Association.
Throughout its first six games, the Phoenix has a shot differential of +17 with a 36-25 advantage in shots on frame over its opponents. Elon trails 39-30 in corner kicks, but has yet to give up a goal from the set piece this season.
Brace and Miguel Salazar both lead the team in points and goals with four points on their two goals this season. Both Brace’s goals have been game-winners in victories over Winthrop and West Virginia.
Scouting Radford (2-2-1)
Picked to finished sixth in the 2014 Preseason Big South Conference poll, the Highlanders are 2-2-1 on the young season. Under fifth-year head coach Marc Reeves, RU has gone unbeaten in its last three matches after earning a 1-0 victory over Incarnate Word on Sunday in its finale at the High Point Classic.
As a team, Radford is averaging a goal per contest on just under 12 shots per game. Four players have netted at least one goal this season for the Highlanders, led by Stephen Hudgens’ two scores.
In goal, Altor Pouseu Blanco has allowed a 0.96 GAA this season with a pair of shutouts and a save percentage of .706. RU’s opponents are averaging only 11 shots a game with a shot percentage of .306.
Elon gets another long break before hitting the road to face another former Big South foe in Coastal Carolina next Friday, Sept. 26. That match is slated to begin at 7 p.m.