Elon Men’s Soccer Opens CAA Semifinals With Clash Versus Blue Hens

Posted by Press Release on November 13, 2015 at 1:55 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The Elon University men’s soccer team opens the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Tournament in the semifinal round on Friday, Nov. 13, with a matchup against Delaware at the pitch at Hofstra Soccer Stadium. The match is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff.

Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Friday 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. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores or the program’s handle @elonmenssoccer. The match will be streamed for free online on CAA.tv

Series History
Elon and Delaware will only meet for the third time ever on the soccer pitch on Friday in a series dating back to 2014 in the Phoenix’s inaugural year in the CAA. The maroon and gold fell to the Blue Hens, 2-1, in the programs’ first meeting in Newark, Del., in 2014, but the Phoenix responded with a 1-0 shutout victory earlier this season to even the series at 1-1. Senior James Brace had the lone goal in that contest for the Phoenix early in the opening period.

Phoenix Rack up Postseason Awards
The Phoenix saw eight members of its program receive Colonial Athletic Association postseason awards as announced by the league. Senior defender Nathan Diehl was tabbed the CAA Defensive Player of the Year by the league coaches and earned first team All-CAA accolades. Fellow seniors James Brace and Miguel Salazar also earned first team All-CAA accolades while senior midfielder Eduardo Alvarez and senior defender Sam McBride took spots on the All-CAA third team. Keeper Matthew Jegier and striker Jaiden Fortune were picked to the CAA All-Rookie team while junior netminder Chris Shannon represented the team on the CAA All-Academic team.

Elon Sits at No. 20 in NCAA RPI Report
The Phoenix improved its standing in the recent NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) on Monday, Nov. 2, and is No. 20 in the nation, a four-spot improvement from last week. Wednesday’s match versus Radford will have key RPI implications with the Highlanders currently No. 32 in the RPI report.

Spreading the Wealth
Elon has had 11 different players find the back of the net this season, its highest total since the 2011 season. Of that total, the Phoenix has seven players with multi-goals this year and nine players with more than 10 shots. Elon has also seen 16 players tally at least one assist on the year of its 20 players that have registered a minute of playing time including keeper Matthew Jegier, who had an assist in Elon’s 2-1 win over Northeastern on Oct. 7.

About Elon (13-4, 6-2 CAA)
Elon (13-5) fell in its regular-season finale to Radford, 2-0, on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Despite the loss, the Phoenix finished the regular-season with 13 wins, tying its Division I record for victories in the regular-season. The Phoenix is also one of 15 teams in the nation with 13 or more wins and it’s the third time in the last three seasons that Elon has won 13 or more games.

The Phoenix offense has netted 32 total goals this season on an average of 1.78 per match. Elon’s setback versus the Highlanders was only the second time this season that the Phoenix had been shutout this season with the other coming at Hofstra on Oct. 24 in a 1-0 loss. Elon has seen 11 different players find the back of the net this season – its highest total since the 2011.

Seniors James Brace and Eduardo Alvarez are tied for the team-lead in goals with five each and are two of seven multi-goal scorers for the Phoenix this season. Brace is also the squad’s overall leader in total points with 15 and has a team-high five assists.

The maroon and gold defensive unit has been strong this season with a league-best eight clean sheets including one at then No. 7 Wake Forest on Sept. 18. On the year, opponents are averaging just 1.00 goal per game versus the Phoenix and its backline of Nathan Diehl, Jonathan Coleby, Sam McBride and the platoon of Nicholas O’Callaghan and Jonathan Wenger. In goal, Matthew Jegier has manned every minute for the Phoenix and has contributed a goal against average of 0.98 and a .734 save percentage.

Scouting Delaware (10-6-3, 5-2-1 CAA)
The 2015 CAA preseason favorite, Delaware has rebounded from a 3-5-2 start to win seven of its recent nine matches and is on a current seven-game unbeaten streak after defeating No. 6 seed UNCW, 3-1, in the quarterfinal round to open the CAA tournament last Saturday, Nov. 7.

Striker Guillermo Delgado had a pair of goals in that contest and currently leads the league in both points (23), goals (10), shots (73) and game-winning goals (four). On the season, Delaware has 33 goals overall and is averaging 1.74 goals per match through its 19 games. The Blue Hens lead the CAA in total shots with 254 (Elon is second at 252) and is tied for the conference-high in total points with 93. In its last three games, Delaware has been on an offensive tear with 10 total goals. The Blue Hens Thomas de Villardi is leading the CAA with his nine assists.

On the other end of the ball, Delaware has allowed 24 goals and ranks in the middle of the pack of the conference in that category and in GAA. Two players, Todd Morton and Blai Palmi, have split time between the posts for the Blue Hens this season with Morton manning the most minutes with 1,093:07. On the year, he has allowed nine goals in his 12 contests with a GAA of 0.74.

On This Day
• Nov. 13, 2011 – Elon 3, UNCG 2 (Boone, N.C.)
A pair of goals by Jordan Smith and another by Gabe Latigue helped the Phoenix earn its first-ever Southern Conference Tournament championship with a 3-2 victory over local rival UNCG. The win also clinched the maroon and gold its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.

• Nov. 13, 2012 – Elon 2, Wofford 1 (Cary, N.C.)
A year later, the Phoenix clinched its second straight SoCon Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth with a 2-1 victory over Wofford at WakeMed Soccer Park. Matt Wescoe opened the match with a goal in the ninth minute of the contest before the Terriers tied the match at 71st minute. Four minutes later, Gabe Latigue tallied the game-winner off a free kick that gave the Phoenix the eventual victory and a sweep of the SoCon regular season and tournament title.

Up Next
If the Phoenix defeats Delaware then Elon will face the winner between No. 1 seed Hofstra and No. 5 seed James Madison on Sunday, Nov. 15, in the championship match at 2:30 p.m.

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