ELON, N.C. – Set for its fifth season of competition, Elon University women’s lacrosse will open the 2018 campaign with a three-game road trip starting at No. 20/19 Duke on Sunday, Feb. 11, in Durham, N.C. The game is set to air on ACC Network Extra at 1 p.m.
Though Duke leads the four-game series 3-1, each of the last two meetings have been decided by one goal. Last season, the Blue Devils won 10-9 on a Maddie Crutchfield goal with 12.6 seconds to play at Rudd Field. The year before, Shelby Scanlin netted the game-winner in Durham with six seconds to play to lift the Phoenix to a 7-6 victory.
The Blue Devils enter 2018, their 23rd season of competition, after posting an 8-9 mark in 2017. The sub-.500 record marked its first since the first year of competition in 1996 when it went 3-12. Duke returns each of its top four scorers from 2017 that combined for 111 of its 191 goals (58.1 percent of Duke’s scoring). The Blue Devils also return all three goalies that saw time in 2017 after Jamie Lockwood and Gabbe Cadoux split duties in the cage.
WHO TO WATCH FOR
Stephanie Asher enters 2018 with 140 career goals, which ties for the sixth-most among active student-athletes in the country. A season ago, Asher scored 58 goals and recorded 69 points to set new program records in both categories. Her total finished as the 25th-most in the country and led the CAA. Standing at 140 for her career, the Glenelg, Md., native has the seventh-highest goal total in the nation among active players entering 2018.
Stephanie Asher became the first player in program history to earn Preseason All-America accolades when she was named an Inside Lacrosse honorable mention in early February. The recognition came on the heels of Asher and Alexis Zadjura being named Preseason All-CAA honorees. Asher has now been a Preseason All-CAA honoree three years in a row and Zadjura was an honorable mention in 2017 before making First Team in 2018.
After graduating its first four-year class after the 2017 season, Elon welcomed eight new faces to the program. Of those players, four represent the state of New Jersey (Quinn Daly, Meri Curtin, Taylor Pani and Claire Smesko), three hail from New York (Mae McGlynn, Ashley Duggan and Allie Cerrone) and one from North Carolina (Lundy Fine).
ELON ON LSN
Elon will have two of its CAA games feature on LAX Sports Network’s CAA Game of the Week initiative. First, the Phoenix will visit Hofstra on Friday, April 6, on LSN before coming home to take on Towson on Friday, April 13, on the network. Additionally, the CAA Championship semifinals and finals are set to air on LSN. The 2018 season marks the second year the CAA has partnered with LSN to expand the reach of CAA lacrosse.
-Three CAA teams, including Elon, went to the NCAA Tournament. It marks the most in one tourney since 2001 when James Madison, Loyola (Md.) and William & Mary all went dancing.
-Two programs – Elon and Colorado – were added prior to the start of the 2014 season. Both teams went to the NCAA Tournament in 2017 in their fourth year of competition. Elon lost to Virginia in the first round and Colorado fell 13-7 to UMass, also in the first round.
-A year ago, Elon posted a program-record 13 wins. It also made its first trip to the CAA title game after beating second-seeded Towson on a Stephanie Asher goal in overtime. Stephanie Asher set the new program record for goals scored (58) and points (69).
AGAINST NATIONALLY-RANKED FOES
Elon owns a record of 4-15 with all four of those wins coming in the last two seasons. Last year alone, it’s defeated No. 13 Virginia, No. 19 Virginia Tech and No. 17 Towson. Against the ACC, Elon is 3-10 with two of those victories coming this year.
Continuing on the road, Elon will visit Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 17. Opening draw in Charlottesville is set for 1 p.m. UVA is ranked No. 13 in the Inside Lacrosse poll and No. 14 in the IWLCA rankings. Last season, Abby Godfrey scored a free position goal with one second to play to lift the Phoenix over the Cavaliers in Elon’s second game of the year. The two also battled in the NCAA Tournament on May 12 with UVA winning 11-9 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Virginia led 5-2 at halftime and pushed the lead to 9-3 just over nine minutes into the second half, but Elon fought back to within two before time expired.