ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s soccer team returns to Rudd Field for its home opener on Friday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. against North Florida, and then hit the road on Sunday, Sept. 6 at South Carolina State at 2 p.m.
Follow the Phoenix
Updates on the Phoenix’s matches against the Ospreys and the Bulldogs will be provided on Twitter at the handle @elonscores or the program’s handle, @ElonWSoccer.
Elon has never beaten North Florida in the three all-time meetings as they trail 0-2-1 in the all-time series and 0-1 since becoming an NCAA Division I program in 1999. In the most recent meeting on Sept. 9, 2011, the Ospreys defeated the Phoenix 3-2 in overtime at Rudd Field. Prior to 2011, the teams only met in the 1996 and 1997 seasons.
Sunday afternoon will be the first-ever meeting between the South Carolina State Bulldogs and the Elon Phoenix. The match will also be the home opener of the 2015 season for the Bulldogs.
About the Phoenix
The Phoenix (2-1) split last weekend first with a 2-0 loss at NC State (Aug. 27), but followed it up with a 2-0 victory at Chattanooga (Aug. 30). Kelly Siewers scored both goals for the Phoenix in the match, the second two-goal game of her career.
Elon began the season with a 1-0 overtime victory over the Davidson Wildcats on Aug. 23, thanks to a 93rd minute goal from Kendall Ballotti off Amanda Lasater’s corner kick. Hanna Macaulay has recorded two shutouts to start the season in wins at Davidson and Chattanooga.
Entering his eighth season at the helm and second in the Colonial Athletic Association, head coach Chris Neal and Elon returns 22 players and seven starters from a team that experienced their first season in the CAA last season. Neal also added 10 new freshmen to the fold in his 2015 recruiting class. The Phoenix finished 5-12 overall last season.
A total of 13 returning players have at least 10 games of action of CAA soccer from last season. 2014 CAA All-Freshman Team member, sophomore forward Grace Bennett, returns after leading the team in scoring a year ago. Fellow sophomore and forward Sydney Schilling will be back with Bennett as she finished second in goals last season.
The Phoenix will have strong leadership as they have seven seniors for the upcoming season. Senior defender Mel Insley will look to lead the back line next season after starting 14 games last season.
Scouting North Florida
The Ospreys have started the season 1-2 overall. Like the Phoenix, they also had a game cancelled this season due to weather. North Florida opened the 2015 season with a 4-0 win at Francis Marion on Aug. 21, but have suffered 1-0 losses to FAU (Aug. 23) and Presbyterian College (Aug. 28). Four players have each scored a goal this season for the Ospreys. North Florida finished last season with a 5-12-1 overall record.
Scouting South Carolina State
The Bulldogs are 1-2 to start the season. They opened the year with a 5-1 victory over Southern University on Aug. 21, but have lost two straight since with 1-0 losses to University of The Incarnate Word on Aug. 23 and Campbell on Wednesday. In 2014, South Carolina State finished with a 3-14 overall record.
The Phoenix will have another home and road non-conference split next weekend. First, Elon hosts Coastal Carolina on Friday, Sept. 11, at Rudd Field with kickoff at 6 p.m. Then it will be a road trip for the sixth time this season with a short trip to Greensboro, N.C. to take on the UNCG Spartans on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.