ELON, N.C. – Looking to continue its best start in program history into Colonial Athletic Association play, the 18th-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team hosts Drexel in its CAA match opener on Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. on the pitch at Rudd Field.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix this Saturday 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. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores or the program’s handle @elonmenssoccer. Friday’s match will be streamed free of charge on elonphoenix.com through Phoenix All-Access with John Roddey and Connor Cummings on the call.
Elon and Drexel have played each other only once on the soccer pitch which was in 2014 in the maroon and gold’s first year in the CAA. The Phoenix earned a 2-0 win over the then-defending league champs at Rudd Field with then-junior Caue Da Silva scoring a goal in the contest.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix improved to 6-0 after earning a hard-fought, 1-0 victory at No. 7 Wake Forest on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The win was Elon’s fourth straight over the Demon Deacons and the third consecutive with Wake Forest being ranked. The Phoenix’s Eduardo Alvarez scored the lone goal in the contest after converting a penalty kick inside the 40th minute while the Phoenix posted its fifth shutout in six games.
Phoenix Nationally Ranked
The Phoenix enters Friday’s matchup nationally ranked for the first time since 2013. Elon is sitting at No. 18 in TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 25 poll and was No. 24 in College Soccer News’ Top 30 rankings. On Tuesday, Elon entered the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll at No. 20.
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings, Elon is currently third in the nation in total goals (17) and shutout percentage (0.83) while sitting fourth in the country in scoring offense (2.83). The Phoenix is also fourth in total points (46), sixth in points per contest (7.67) and is in the top-10 in the nation in save percentage (.917) and goals-against average (0.33).
Alvarez’s score versus Wake Forest puts him in a tie for the team-lead in goals with three along with Da Silva and rookie forward Jaiden Fortune. Fortune still leads the squad in total points with nine and in assists with three. Overall, seven players have scored a goal this season for the Phoenix.
The Phoenix is outscoring the opposition 17-2 on the year even while trailing in the shot battle, 69-67. Elon’s five clean sheets are the most through the first six games since Elon had four shutouts in the same stretch in both 2009 and 2014. Redshirt freshman keeper Matthew Jegier, who has played every minute between the posts this season, is already in the top-10 in program history for shutouts in a single-season.
Scouting Drexel (1-5)
The Dragons, who posted a 5-10-3 overall record in 2014 and a 1-6-1 ledger in CAA play, were tabbed to finish tied for sixth in the 2015 CAA Preseason poll by the league’s head coaches. Drexel earned its first win of the year on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Penn at home.
Offensively, Drexel has only scored four goals on the season while conceding nine. The Dragons are averaging nine shots per game and have 17 shots on goal. Colin McGlynn has scored half of Drexel’s goal total with a team-best two scores on the season. He and teammate Francisco Palma also have the lone assists for the Dragons with one each.
Drexel opponents are averaging 14.0 shots at match and have attempted 39 shots on target at near 46 percent clip. Two players have seen time in goal this year for Drexel with Tyler Afflerbach seeing the most time with 360 minutes. Overall, Drexel is allowing a 1.50 goals-against average with a .769 save percentage.
Elon begins a three-match road swing next Tuesday, Sept. 22, with a non-conference tilt at South Carolina. That match is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff.