ELON, N.C. – The 11th-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team begins a tough three-game road stretch starting with an early-week contest at South Carolina on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Stone Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Tuesday 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.
SEC Network +
Tuesday’s match will also be broadcasted online through SEC Network + on Watch ESPN. Fans can access the channel by going to espn.com/watchespn, logging in and selecting ‘SEC Network +’ under the network tab. You can also access the match through the Watch ESPN app on your mobile device. SEC Network + is not a television channel, however, you can watch the events on a television screen through the following applications: Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Only SEC Network subscribers of AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC have authenticated access to SEC Network +.
Tuesday evening’s game is only the third regular-season meeting between the Phoenix and the Gamecocks. Both squads are tied at 1-1 in a series that dates to 2001, but will be meeting for the first time in the regular season since 2003. Elon won the most recent game in 2003 with a 1-0 victory over the then 25th-ranked Gamecocks.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix opened Colonial Athletic Association play last Friday, Sept. 18, with a 3-1 win over Drexel at Rudd Field. Senior Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler, junior Taylor Adler and rookie Nicholas O’Callaghan all scored for the Phoenix in the match as Elon improved its program-best start to 7-0. The scores for Adler and O’Callaghan were the first of the their career.
Phoenix Nationally Ranked
Elon achieved its highest ranking ever in the national polls on Monday, Sept. 21, with the Phoenix being placed No. 11 in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 25 Poll and No. 13 in College Soccer News Top 30 Poll. Previously, Elon’s highest position in the national rankings was No. 16, last achieved in 2013. The Phoenix also sits at No. 20 in the current National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.
O’Callaghan Garners CAA Player and Rookie of the Week Accolades
Speaking of O’Callaghan, the Winter Springs, Fla., native was named the CAA Player and Rookie of the Week on Monday, Sept. 21, for his efforts in Elon’s wins over at No. 7 Wake Forest and versus Drexel. Against the Demon Deacons, O’Callaghan aided the Phoenix backline to shutout a Wake Forest program that ranked in the top-five in the nation in goals scored in Elon’s 1-0 win. At home versus Drexel, O’Callaghan then tallied his first career points with a goal and a assist in the maron and gold’s 3-1 win over the Dragons.
The Phoenix offense has put up 20 goals through its first seven games, nearly matching its entire season total of 22 from last year. Overall, Elon is third in the nation in scoring offense (2.86) and total goals and is fifth in points per game at 7.86.
Elon has benefited scoring contributions from nine players this season, led by nine, eight and seven points from Jaiden Fortune, Vandermaas-Peeler, Eduardo Alvarez and Caue Da Silva, respectively. Fortune, Vandermaas-Peeler, Alvarez and Da Silva are tied for the team-lead in goals with three, while Fortune also paces the squad with three assists followed by Vandermaas-Peeler and James Brace with three.
Defensively, Elon has been equally impressive. The Phoenix is tied for seventh in the country in shutout percentage (0.71) and is ninth in save percentage (.885). Four of the five members that have seen time on the Phoenix’s backline this season also have contributed on the offensive end with at least one point.
Scouting South Carolina (3-2-1)
The Gamecocks earned a 1-0 shutout win at its Conference USA foe UAB last Friday, snapping a three-match winless streak. Head coach Mark Berson, who is the only head coach in the Gamecock’s history leads South Carolina.
USC has 10 goals on the year with Danny Deakin accounting for a team-high four of them. Six players total have tallied a goal for the Gamecocks and eight players have at least one point. Ryan Arambula has a team-best three assists for USC.
Between the posts, Marco Velez has seen the most time for South Carolina playing 436:16 minutes. During that stretch, he has a GAA of 2.68 to go with 18 saves and a .581 save percentage.
Elon is back into CAA play with a trip to Newark, Del., for a matchup at league preseason favorite Delaware on Saturday, Sept. 26. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.