No. 11 Elon MSOC Phoenix Heads to No. 24 UNCW for CAA Road Showdown

ELON, N.C. – After earning a pair of victories last week at home, the 11th-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team travels to 24th-ranked UNCW for a key Colonial Athletic Association road match on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at Ashley High School Stadium in Wilmington, N.C.

Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Wednesday and throughout the season with live updates on 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.

Series History
Elon and UNCW will meet for the eighth time on the soccer pitch on Wednesday in a series that dates back to 2005. The Phoenix holds a 4-2-1 ledger overall over the Seahawks all-time and has won the past two meetings. Last year, Elon defeated then 21st-ranked UNCW in Wilmington, 2-1, with goals from James Brace and Jason Waterman.

Last Time Out
The Phoenix earned a 1-0 nonconference victory last Saturday, Oct. 10, versus Lipscomb in its most recent contest. Brace scored the lone goal of the contest in the 20th minute thanks to an assist from rookie Amir Berkane as Elon posted its seventh shutout of the season. The victory also improved the Phoenix’s record to 4-0 at home on the year.

Phoenix Nationally Ranked
Elon is No. 21 in the Top 25 Poll and No. 14 in the College Soccer News Top 30 Poll. The Phoenix was also ranked at No. 11 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) Top 25 Poll today, Oct 13. Elon has been nationally ranked for four consecutive weeks – its longest streak in program history.

Elon Sits at No. 23 in NCAA RPI Report
The Phoenix currently sits at No. 23 in the most recent NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the second-highest ranking team from the CAA and one of three teams from the league in the top 35 overall with Hofstra (20) and UNCW (31).

Berkane Named CAA Rookie of the Week
Berkane became the latest Phoenix player to earn a weekly award from the league as the Kelvedon, England, native was tabbed the CAA Rookie of the Week on Monday, Oct. 12. Berkane had a hand in each of the Phoenix’s wins last week as he scored the game-winner versus Northeastern in Elon’s 2-1 victory over the Huskies. He also tallied an assist on the only goal of the contest in the maroon and gold’s 1-0 win over Lipscomb on Saturday.

Berkane becomes the fourth Phoenix player to receive league weekly accolades this year along with Matthew Jegier (Rookie), Jaiden Fortune (Player) and Nicholas O’Callaghan (Player and Rookie).

About Elon (10-2, 3-1 CAA)
The Phoenix is currently second in the league standings with its 3-1 record, just a game behind Hofstra who has a 4-0 record. Elon also has a league-high 10 overall wins this year, reaching the double-digit win plateau for the third time in its last four seasons.

Brace is the Phoenix’s leading scorer with 11 points after tying the team-lead with his fourth goal on Saturday. The score was also the 20th in his career for the Hartlepool, England, native, which is just outside of the top-10 on the program’s all-time career list.

As a team, the Phoenix leads the CAA in total points (74), assists (22) and shots per match (13.75) while tied with UNCW in goals (26). Elon is also among the top two in the league in goals per game (2.17) and assists per match (1.83).

On the other end, Elon’s seven shutouts lead the CAA while the Phoenix is second overall in goals allowed (11) and goals against average (0.92). The seven clean sheets for Matthew Jegier places him in a tie for fourth all-time in program history in a single-season and eighth all-time in a career.

Scouting UNCW (7-2-2, 2-1-1 CAA)
The Seahawks, under the tutelage of 15-year head coach Aidan Heaney, improved to 7-2-2 on the year after earning a 3-1 win versus Drexel last Saturday. The victory had snapped a two-match winless streak for UNCW. The Seahawks were at No. 24 in the College Soccer News Top 30 Poll and receiving votes in the NSCAA Top 25 Poll.

Along with the Phoenix, UNCW is one of the top offensive teams in the league with a CAA-best 2.36 goals per match average. Colin Bonner paces the league in points (19) and goals (seven) while teammate Ben Fisher is not far off with six goals and 15 points.

Defensively, UNCW is also one of the league’s standout defensive units with the Seahawks allowing a GAA of 0.91 with five shutouts. Sean Melvin has started all 11 matches in net for UNCW and has allowed only 10 goals with a .712 save percentage.

Up Next
Elon hosts James Madison at Rudd Field on Saturday, Oct. 17, for its Homecoming match. That game is slated for an 8 p.m. kickoff.