ELON, N.C. – The 11th-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team looks to continue its current three-game win streak as the Phoenix welcomes Colonial Athletic Association foe James Madison to Rudd Field on Saturday, Oct. 17. Elon and JMU are scheduled to kickoff the match at 8 p.m.
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.
Heading into the weekend, Elon and JMU have only met once on the soccer pitch all-time, which was last season in the Phoenix’s inaugural year in the CAA. Both programs battled to a scoreless draw in Elon last season on the Phoenix’s final regular-season home game of the year.
Last Time Out
Elon extended its winning streak to three games after earning a 2-1 CAA road victory at No. 24 UNCW on Wednesday, Oct. 14. James Brace scored the game-winner at the 64th minute for the Phoenix, who improved to 11-2 overall and 4-1 in the league standings with its third straight win over the Seahawks. The Phoenix’s Eduardo Alvarez also scored a goal in the match on a penalty kick in the 55th minute.
Phoenix Nationally Ranked
Elon is ranked at No. 11 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) Top 25 Poll and is also No. 21 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25 Poll. The Phoenix currently sits at No. 14 in the College Soccer News Top 30 Poll. Elon has been nationally ranked for four consecutive weeks – its longest streak in program history.
Elon No. 23 in Latest RPI Report
The Phoenix is No. 23 in the latest 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). JMU stands at No. 192 while the remaining games on the Phoenix’s schedule along with the Pride are against Duke (38), Radford (26) and College of Charleston (103).
Berkane Named CAA Rookie of the Week
Amir 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 (11-2, 4-1 CAA)
Elon is second behind Hofstra (5-0 CAA) with 12 points during league play with a four-point advantage over third-place James Madison. The Phoenix continues to lead the league in several categories including goals (28), points (79), assists (23), goals against average (0.92) and shutouts (seven).
Brace’s score on Wednesday was the 21st in his career, putting him in the top-10 all-time in school history. He and Alvarez are tied for the team-lead with five goals each with Brace being on a tear lately with three goals in his last five games. Brace’s 13 points is best on the team and sixth overall in the league. The Hartlepool, England, native has 52 points overall in his career, just outside of the program’s top-10 career list.
The Phoenix continues its attack through several players with 11 different goal scorers on the year its most since 2011. Elon has also managed to have 13 players tally five or more shots on the year.
Defensively, Elon is holding the opposition to just over 10 shots per game and less than a goal per match. Netminder Matthew Jegier leads the conference with his seven clean sheets and is second in GAA with 0.92.
Scouting James Madison (3-6-4, 2-1-2 CAA)
The defending 2015 CAA tournament champions, the Dukes began the year 0-5-1 before rebounding to a 3-1-3 record since Sept. 22 under first-year head coach Tom Foley. JMU defeated William & Mary at home on Wednesday, 3-1, and is on a current five-game unbeaten streak.
The Dukes have scored 13 goals on the season with eight of those coming during the current five-game unbeaten streak. JMU is averaging 12.4 shots a contest with just fewer than 33 percent of those coming on target. Connor Coward leads the squad with his three scores and is one of seven players to notch a goal this year for the Dukes.
On the other side of the ball, JMU opponents have scored 19 goals against the Dukes this season, but are averaging fewer than 10 shots a contest. Keeper Kyle Morton has made the majority of the starts between the posts for James Madison and paces the league in GAA (0.91) to go with three shutouts on the year.
Elon heads to in-state rival Duke next Tuesday, Oct. 20, for a nonconference matchup. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.