ELON, N.C. – The 13th-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team will take a step outside of Colonial Athletic Association play this Saturday, Oct. 10, as the Phoenix hosts Lipscomb at Rudd Field. Kickoff is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on 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. The game will be streamed for free on Phoenix All-Access with Josh Gresh on the call.
The Phoenix and the Bison have only met once on the soccer pitch prior to this weekend’s matchup. Elon defeated Lipscomb, 3-2, at the Lipscomb Tournament in 2012 behind a pair of goals from Chris Thomas (2009-12).
Last Time Out
Elon rebounded from its first CAA setback of the season last Wednesday, Sept. 30, at William & Mary with a 2-1 victory over Northeastern on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The Phoenix scored the final two goals of the contest after falling behind 1-0 early in the match thanks to scores from senior Jonathan Wenger and rookie Amir Berkane. Wenger provided the equalizer just near the end of the opening stanza while Berkane added his second goal in as many games with the game-winner at the 72nd minute.
Phoenix Nationally Ranked
Elon continues to be ranked nationally in a number of the major soccer polls. The maroon and gold is No. 13 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top 25 Poll that was released on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Elon is also No. 23 in TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25 Poll. Elon has been nationally ranked for three consecutive weeks – its longest streak in program history.
Elon Sits at No. 18 in NCAA RPI Report
The Phoenix is still a top-20 team in the nation in the most recent NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). The Phoenix currently sits No. 18 in the report, the second-highest ranking team from the CAA and one of four teams from the league in the top 30 overall with Hofstra (14), William & Mary (23) and UNCW (28).
As a team, Elon has amassed a goal differential of +14 (25-11) on the year and is averaging 2.27 goals per match. Wenger also became the 11th different Phoenix player to notch a goal this season on his first career goal against the Huskies. That number is the highest for the maroon and gold since the 2011 season.
Berkane became the seventh Phoenix player to have multi-goals so far this season. Eduardo Alvarez still leads the Phoenix with four goals and is in a three-way tie for second in total points with nine along with fellow seniors James Brace and Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler. Rookie Jaiden Fortune is still the Phoenix’s overall leader in points with 10 off his three goals and team-best four assists.
The maroon and gold defense is holding the opposition to a goal per game and limiting opponents to around 10 shots a game. Redshirt freshman keeper Matthew Jegier has played every minute between the posts for Elon and has made 33 saves to go with a 1.00 goals against average and a .750 save percentage.
Scouting Lipscomb (4-6-1, 2-1 Atlantic Sun)
The Bison have posted a 4-4-1 record since the beginning of September and is coming off a 3-2 win over it’s A-Sun foe Jacksonville at home on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Prior to the season, Lipscomb was tabbed to finish third overall in the A-Sun 2015 Preseason Poll.
On the year, Lipscomb has scored 14 goals and is averaging 1.27 goals per game through its 11 matches. Logan Paynter and Matt Kerridge are tied for the team-lead with four goals and eight points each. Three players pace the Bison in assists with Kevin McMahon, Daniel Vieira and Anthony Cedano each with two.
The Bison defense has allowed 18 goals this season including five in the last two games. Opponents are averaging close to 12 shots a match with a nearly 50 percent mark with shots on target. Micah Bledsoe has been the primary netminder for Lipscomb this season and has a GAA of 1.63 with 37 saves and a .685 save percentage in his 940 minutes of action.
Elon hits the road for another tough CAA road test as the Phoenix travels to UNCW on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is slated for a 7 p.m. start.