ELON, N.C. – Elon University head women’s soccer coach Chris Neal announced his team’s schedule for the upcoming 2016 season on Wednesday, June 1, which includes matchups against five NCAA Tournament teams from last season.
The Phoenix will play 10 home matches at Rudd Field, including non-conference matchups against Triad foes High Point and UNCG, as well as Charleston Southern, Richmond and Davidson.
“I’m excited for our team and the 2016 schedule,” said Neal. “This year’s slate provides a nice compliment of very high level opponents and regional rivalries that will prepare us for conference play, which will be very competitive. It is going to be a lot of fun and we’re excited to get started.”
Following a road exhibition match against Appalachian State on August 13, the Phoenix begins the year with three straight home matches. Elon hosts its home opener on Friday, August 19, against Charleston Southern at 7 p.m.
The maroon and gold will then host two local rivals in its next two home matches. High Point will visit Rudd Field on Sunday, August 21, followed by a match against UNCG on Friday, August 26. Both of those matches will begin at 7 p.m.
Elon then hits the road for four straight matches, which begins with a trip to 2015 NCAA Tournament participant and ACC semifinalist Clemson (August 28), who was ranked No. 1 in the NCAA RPI for multiple weeks last season. The match against the Tigers will be followed by trips to Coastal Carolina (Sept. 1), Western Carolina (Sept. 4) and Charlotte (Sept. 8).
Following the road swing, the Phoenix hosts five straight matches. After returning from Charlotte, Elon welcomes Richmond on Sunday, Sept. 11, for a 1 p.m. match. Davidson will make a visit to Rudd Field on Friday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. for Elon’s lone match of the week.
The Phoenix then jumps into Colonial Athletic Association play, which had a conference record four teams make the NCAA Tournament last season. Teams in the CAA boasted a combined record of 108-76-18 and six of the 10 teams had a winning record.
The conference season begins against Towson (Sept. 23) and James Madison (Sept. 25) at Rudd Field. Elon follows the weekend up with its final non-conference match of the year on Thursday, Sept. 29, when it hosts South Carolina State at 7 p.m.
Another road swing for the Phoenix will begin that next weekend when the team travels to William & Mary on Oct. 2 in its only match of the week at 2 p.m. The maroon and gold will then make the trek north for a weekend of matches at Hofstra (Oct. 7) and Northeastern (Oct. 9).
Elon will return to Rudd Field one last time for its final conference home weekend. The Phoenix hosts the Drexel Dragons on Friday, Oct. 14 before taking on the Delaware Blue Hens on Sunday, Oct. 16 for Senior Day.
The maroon and gold wraps up the regular season with a road weekend of matches against College of Charleston (Oct. 21) and UNCW (Oct. 23).
The 2016 CAA Women’s Soccer Championship begins with the quarterfinal round on Sunday, Oct. 30, followed by the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4 and the championship match on Sunday, Nov. 6.