JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Susannah Anderson headed home a corner kick with less than a minute to go in the first half to lift the Elon University women’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 20, at Southern Oak Stadium.
“I’m very happy and proud of our team for this weekend’s performances,” said Elon head coach Chris Neal. “Opening up the season in Florida brought many different challenges. Today’s match was very hot and both matches this weekend were delayed due to lightning. Both teams we played, although stylistically very different, were well organized and had dangerous players that could make a lot of different things happen. I’m happy with how we traveled and dealt with the elements. We learned a lot about or team this weekend and picked up two wins along the way so mission accomplished as far as I’m concerned.”
The win pushes Elon’s record to 2-0 on the year, pairing Sunday’s win over Jacksonville with a 4-2 win Friday night, Aug. 18, over North Florida. With a perfect 2-0 mark, it’s the first time since 1991 Elon is 2-0 to open a campaign and it marks the eighth time the program has gone unbeaten in the first two games of a season. Jacksonville dropped to 1-1 on the season with the defeat.
Meredith Christopher tallied Elon’s first goal of the afternoon in the 15th minute and Anderson notched the game-winner just 56 seconds before the halftime whistle to score her seventh career goal. Reena Wichmann assisted on Christopher’s goal in the early going while Christopher setup Anderson’s game winner. Between the pipes, Katelyn Fowler made three saves to pick up her second win of the young season.
For the second consecutive game, Christopher got the Phoenix off and running in the early going in the 15th minute. Christopher converted on a pass from Wichmann that was rolled in slowly to the left side of goal and the freshman beat Jacksonville goalkeeper Micaela MacKay for her fourth goal of the year.
Anderson, a Jacksonville native, netted the game-winning goal on a corner kick from Christopher. The ball came in from the left side and Anderson converted with a header past MacKay for her first goal of the season in the 45th minute. The goal marks the third of the season for the Phoenix off set pieces after tallying off a corner kick and a free kick in the first half Friday night.
Jacksonville’s lone goal came in the 23rd minute when Joelle D’Entremont juked a defender and took her shot from six yards out to beat Fowler to the top right side of goal.
-With six goals across the first two games of the regular season, the number ties for the fifth-most in program history to open a season. It is the most in a two-game span to start a season since Elon scored nine goals in 1993, before anyone on the current roster was born.
-With 14:21 to play, lightning delayed the game an hour and 29 minutes (2:39 p.m. to 4:08 p.m.)
-Leading 2-1 to start the second half, Elon didn’t allow Jacksonville a single shot in the second half.
-Unbeaten on opening weekend, it’s the first time since 2013 the Phoenix has finished the first two games of the season unblemished.
Elon will look to make it a 3-0 start to 2017 on Thursday night, Aug. 24, when it heads down the road to UNCG for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Greensboro, N.C. Following the matchup against the Spartans, the Phoenix will come home for a Sunday, Aug. 27, contest against Chattanooga at Rudd Field. Thursday’s game starts a run of three consecutive matches against Elon’s former Southern Conference rivals.