Elon Welcomes Winthrop for First Round of NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament

Posted by Press Release on November 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Back in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years, the Elon University men’s soccer team opens NCAA Tournament play versus Winthrop at Rudd Field on Thursday night, Nov. 19, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Thursday 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 through the Phoenix All-Access channel with John Roddey and Connor Cummings on the call.


Series History
Old foes of the Big South Conference, Elon and Winthrop are meeting for the 13th time in a series that dates back to 1991. The Phoenix trails in the series, 5-6-1, but has won the previous two contests including a 1-0 victory last season in Wilmington, N.C., at the UNCW Wrightsville Beach Classic.

Back to the NCAAs
Elon is making its fourth overall trip to the NCAA Tournament and its first since the 2013 season. It’s the Phoenix’s first trip to the national tournament as an at-large bid and the second time hosting since welcoming Clemson to Rudd Field in 2013 in an opening-round match. Elon advanced to the second round for the first time in school history thanks to defeating the Tigers, 5-4, in penalty kicks. Overall, Elon has yet to officially win a game in the national tournament with a record of 0-3-1.

Postseason Experience
The Phoenix has a vast amount of experience in the NCAA Tournament. Sam McBride has started all three NCAA Tournament games he has appeared in while Miguel Salazar and Nathan Diehl started both games in the Phoenix’s run in 2013. James Brace and Myles Mansfield were key reserves in both 2012 and 2013 during the Phoenix’s trip to the NCAAs while Caue Da Silva also played a vital role off the bench in 2013.

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
In the most recent NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report, Elon is sitting at No. 25 in the nation and is the highest ranked CAA team. Winthrop is 87th in the RPI.

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 (13-5-1) is back in the national tournament for the first time since the 2013 season and its first as an at-large bid. The Phoenix had its run end at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships to Delaware after falling to the Blue Hens, 5-4, in the penalty kick round in a 2-2 draw. It was the Phoenix’s first tie of the season after going through the regular-season without achieving one.

The Phoenix closed out the regular-season near or at the top of the CAA in a number of categories including goals per game, shots, points, total goals, assists, assists per game, fewest goals allowed, goals against average, shutouts and corners.

Eduardo Alvarez leads the team in total goals with six after scoring one equalizer in the Phoenix’s match Delaware. James Brace paces the squad with 15 total points on his five goals and team-high five assists. Elon has 34 goals this season with seven players having multi-scores. The Phoenix has also seen 11 different players find the back of the net this year – its highest total since 2011.

On the other end of the ball, the Phoenix defense has remained a formidable unit, allowing only 20 goals through its 19 games while posting eight shutouts in the process.

Scouting Winthrop (11-6-2, 7-1-1 Big South)
Winthrop (11-6-2) won a share of the Big South regular-season championship before claiming the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament after defeating High Point, 3-1, on penalty kicks at the Big South Tournament Championship match last Sunday, Nov. 15.

After beginning the year 1-5, the Eagles have gone 10-1-2 since, is on a current five-game unbeaten streak and unbeaten in 12 of its past 13. On the season, Winthrop has scored 41 goals on an average of 2.16 per match tops in the Big South. Junior Max Hasenstab, who was named the MVP of the Big South Conference Tournament, leads the team with 13 goals. Jodi Lluch is second with 11 and also made the Big South All-Tournament team.

Defensively, Winthrop has allowed 27 goals (1.42/g) this season with opponents attempting 10.7 shots. The Eagles have also posted seven shutouts on the season including four straight. Keeper Fabian Broich has played majority of the minutes in goal for Winthrop and has a 1.01 GAA and a .758 save percentage.

Up Next
With a win, Elon will advance to second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history and set up a 2013 NCAA rematch at No. 2 Clemson on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m.

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