ELON, N.C. – Kendall Balllotti came up big down the stretch once again heading in the game-winner in the 84th minute as the Elon University women’s soccer team defeated North Florida 1-0 on Friday, Sept. 4, in the home opener at Rudd Field.
“It was an amazing ball from Mel [Insley] and I just decided to go right across the keeper and risk it,” said Ballotti as she explained the goal. “We got a lot of shots and you could see everyone getting frustrated, but we kept our composure and we played incredible soccer.”
The Phoenix (3-1) dominated both stanzas with chances and corners. Elon’s most dangerous opportunity came from Grace Bennett in the 17th minute as North Florida’s goalkeeper Susie Ford pulled out a tremendous save off her header to keep the match scoreless.
Susannah Anderson had many chances in the half, including a shot that was parried away by Ford in the 29th minute.
North Florida’s (1-3) best chance in the match came right before halftime in the 40th minute as Mackenzie Meisler’s shot from 16 yards hit the left post. Elon outshot the Ospreys 12-4 in the half, but it remained 0-0 at the break.
In the second period, the Phoenix continued to pour on the pressure and only allowed North Florida one chance as they outshot the Ospreys 15-1. Elon won a free kick in the 84th minute and took advantage of it. Mel Insley played a perfect ball on the free kick into the box and Ballotti placed a perfect header into the top right corner of the net. It would prove to be the difference as Elon held on for the 1-0 victory.
Taylor Mohr (1-0) got her first-career start for the Phoenix recording a save and helping Elon earn its third shutout of the season.
– The goal was Ballotti’s second goal and game-winner of the season. The sophomore center back has scored both of her game-winners on set pieces this season.
– Elon dominated possession and opportunities in the match as they outshot the Ospreys 27-5 and outcornered North Florida 13-1.
– It is the first time that the Phoenix have started the season winning and posting shutouts in three of the first four matches was 2013.
– Mohr recorded her first-career shutout in her first-ever start at goalkeeper with Elon.
Elon closes out the weekend with a trip to South Carolina State on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m.