ELON, N.C. – In a match with both teams jockeying to solidify and improve its seeding for the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, the 21st-ranked Elon University men’s soccer team hosts College of Charleston on Saturday night, Oct. 31, at Rudd Field. Both teams are slated for a 7 p.m. start time.
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 match will be streamed for free online on Phoenix All-Access.
Prior to the match, the program will recognize its 10-person senior class of Edaurdo Alvarez, James Brace, Caue Da Silva, Nathan Diehl, Sam McBride, Myles Mansfield, Miguel Salazar, Christopher Shannon, Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler and Jonathan Wenger. The group has been a part of a program-record 51 wins as a class at the Division I level, three conference championships and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances including an advancement to the second round of the national tournament.
Former league rivals of the Southern Conference, Elon and CofC are meeting for the 17th time on the soccer pitch in a series that dates back to 2001. The Cougars hold an 11-5 advantage over the Phoenix all-time, but Elon defeated CofC last year, 2-1, in double overtime in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., in the most recent contest.
Both the Phoenix and the Cougars, currently sitting at No. 2 and No. 4 in the league standings, respectively, will look to solidify or improve its ranking for the upcoming league championships with a win on Saturday. With a victory or draw, Elon, who has 15 points and a 5-2 mark in the conference, will clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. A Phoenix loss could knock the maroon and gold to either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed depending on No. 3 Delaware’s result at William & Mary on Saturday.
Hofstra, who clinched the league’s regular-season title with its 1-0 win over the Phoenix last Saturday, Oct. 24, will host the semifinals and championship match of the tournament on Nov. 13-15. The quarterfinals will be held on Nov. 7 at the higher seeds of the selected host sites.
Phoenix Nationally Ranked
Elon is ranked at No. 21 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) Top 25 Poll and has been nationally ranked for six consecutive weeks – its longest streak in program history.
Elon No. 23 in Latest RPI Report
Despite setbacks last week at Duke and at Hofstra, Elon is still in the top-25 in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). The Phoenix is currently No. 24 RPI rankings – the second-highest ranked team in the CAA behind Hofstra (21) – while CofC is at No. 100. The Phoenix will close out the regular-season versus No. 41 Radford next Wednesday, Nov. 4.
About Elon (12-4, 5-2 CAA)
Elon is looking to snap its longest losing skid of the season after back-to-back defeats on the road last week at Duke and at Hofstra. The last time the Phoenix lost three in a row was back in 2011.
The Phoenix suffered its first shutout of the year against the Pride in its 1-0 setback last Saturday, Oct. 24, but still leads the CAA in goals scored with 31 and goals per game at 1.94. Seven different players have found the back of the net multiple times this season for Elon with Brace and Alvarez tied for the team-lead in goals with five.
Elon defense is also still among the best in the league with a CAA-best seven clean sheets and a goals against average of 0.99.
Scouting College of Charleston (7-6-2, 4-2-1 CAA)
The Cougars are coming off a 1-0 victory at UNCW on Wednesday and will compete in the CAA Championship Tournament for the first time since joining the league in 2013. Head coach Ralph Lundy leads the CofC men’s soccer program.
Offensively, the Cougars have scored 19 goals on the year for an average of 1.27 per game. In fact, CofC has scored exactly one goal in each of its last three games, but the Cougars have a 2-1 record in that time frame. Nico Rettmeyer is the leading goal scorer for the Cougars with his four scores.
Defensively, CofC is among the top teams in the league in fewest goals allowed (18), shutouts (five), saves (76) and GAA (1.17). Kevin Shields has seen the most time in net for the Cougars and has a 1.21 GAA and a .803 save percentage in his 1,039 minutes of action.
Elon closes out the regular-season with a non-conference slate against Radford on Nov. 4, at Rudd Field. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.