ELON, N.C. – Fresh off earning its first win as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, the Elon University men’s soccer team travels to No. 21 UNC Wilmington for a match against the league-leading Seahawks on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Wednesday and throughout the season 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 as well as an opportunity to sign up for text alerts. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores or the program’s handle @elonmenssoccer.
Wednesday’s game will represent the seventh meeting between the Phoenix and the Seahawks in a series that dates back to 2001. Elon leads the all-time series 3-2-1 and has a two-match unbeaten streak against UNCW. The maroon and gold notched a 3-1 win over the Seahawks last fall at Rudd Field with Jason Waterman scoring twice in the contest.
Last Time Out
Elon picked up the school’s first victory as a member of the CAA with a 5-0 thrashing over then league-leading Northeastern last Saturday, Oct. 11. The Phoenix had its highest scoring output of the season after coming into the match with only eight total goals on the year. The shutout was also the seventh of the year for the maroon and gold, tying for the third-best total in a single-season in school history.
The clean sheet was the 23rd in the career of senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean as he set a new school record. The Liverpool, England, native broke the four-year mark of former Elon and current Colorado Rapids keeper Clint Irwin (2007-10).
About Elon (5-4-3, 1-1-1 CAA)
Wednesday’s match will be the Phoenix’s second of the year against a ranked opponent, both coming on the road. Elon fell at No. 24 Coastal Carolina, 3-1, earlier in the season. This is also Elon’s second trip back to Wilmington, N.C., after playing at the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach Classic on Sept. 5-7.
Elon enters the week tied for 11th in the nation in shutout percentage (0.58) and has held opponents to one goal or less in nine of its 12 matches. The Phoenix still leads the CAA in fewest goals allowed (10), goals against average (0.79) and shutouts (seven).
The five goals on Saturday is the Phoenix’s highest scoring output since a 5-1 victory over Georgia Southern last year in quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Tournament. Leading scorer James Brace added his fifth goal of 2014 on Saturday and is tied for third in the conference. Four other members of the Phoenix scored their first goals of the season against the Huskies in Waterman, Cauê Da Silva, Luis Argudo and Eliot Browarsky.
Dean has played every minute between the posts for Elon this season and has a CAA-best 0.79 GAA. Dean’s seven clean sheets this season ties his personal single-year best he set in 2012 and needs one more to tie Kip Rackley (1984-87) for second all-time at Elon. Irwin holds the single-season school record with 10 shutouts in 2009.
Scouting UNCW (9-2-2, 2-1-1 CAA)
The Seahawks have lost only once since their early-season tournament, reeling off six straight wins with a pair of victories against No. 23 Duke and No. 9 North Carolina. UNCW’s only blemish came against league foe, No. 23 Delaware, in a 1-0 setback on Oct. 4. College Soccer News currently ranks the Seahawks at No. 21 in its latest poll.
The Seahawks’ Jamie Dell is second in the league in total points with 15 (seven goals, one assist) and has tallied five game-winning scores this season. In all, 10 players total has scored at least one goal this season for UNCW.
Sean Melvin has played all but 110 minutes in goal this season for UNCW and has a 0.86 GAA, second only to Dean in the conference. He also has four shutouts to his credit in 2014.
Elon returns home on Saturday, Oct. 18, against defending league champion Drexel at Rudd Field. This weekend will also be the program’s annual Alumni Weekend with former members of the program coming back in attendance.