ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team hosts its final exhibition match of the 2014 preseason as the Phoenix welcomes NC State to Rudd Field on Saturday, Aug 23. Kickoff is slated to begin at 7 p.m.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans will be able to follow the Phoenix this weekend and throughout the season through live stats on elonphoenix.com. Updates for the match will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores or @elonmenssoccer.
Elon and NC State have met six times on the soccer pitch in a series that dates back to 1974. The Wolfpack holds a 5-1 advantage all time over the maroon and gold and had a 3-1 victory over the Phoenix the last time the two programs met in 2005.
About the Phoenix
Elon returns 20 players and six starters from the 2013 squad that finished 15-5-3, captured its third straight Southern Conference Tournament championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The Phoenix ended the season ranked in the final NSCAA poll for the first time in school history at No. 22.
First-year head coach Chris Little returns to Elon after previously spending three seasons as an assistant coach from 2010-12. Little will take the reins of a program that will compete in its first year of the Colonial Athletic Association this season.
Both of the Phoenix’s top two scorers from last season, Jason Waterman and James Brace, also returns for their senior and junior campaigns, respectively. Both players were selected to the 2014 Preseason All-CAA team on Monday, Aug. 18. Senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean received honorable mention on the preseason All-CAA team while fellow senior Austin Dunker also returns to help anchor a backline that had six clean sheets in 2013.
Scouting NC State
NC State enters 2014 after coming off an 8-5-4 campaign in 2013 and just missed out on an NCAA at-large berth. The Wolfpack is led by fourth-year head coach Kelly Findley and was selected to finish fourth in the Atlantic Division in the Atlantic Coast Conference 2014 preseason poll.
The Wolfpack’s Nick Surkamp returns as NC State’s leading scorer after scoring eight goals a season ago. He also received preseason All-ACC accolades and an All-American fourth-team mention from College Sports Madness.
Elon will open the regular season next Friday, Aug. 29, in Durham, N.C., at the John Reinne/Nike Classic versus Stetson. That match will kickoff at 5 p.m.