ELON, N.C. – Grace Bennett and Sydney Schilling scored less than 20 seconds apart in the 65th minute and the Elon University women’s soccer team earned a 2-0 victory to open the 2016 season on Friday, Aug. 19, at Rudd Field. With the victory, head coach Chris Neal won his 75th game at Elon, becoming the winningest coach in program history.
Elon improves to 1-0 overall with the win and Charleston Southern falls to 0-1 to kick off the year. Susannah Anderson assisted Bennett’s goal at the 64:16 mark before Schilling fired home Elon’s second with 64:35 on the clock.
Alexis de Groot created the Phoenix’s best opportunity in the first half as her shot from the right side was cleared in front of goal in the 22nd minute. Breanna Mitchell also had a shot in the 25th minute that tested Bucs keeper Alyssa Dellacqua, but both teams ended up going scoreless in the first 45 minutes. The Phoenix had a lead in the shot count, 4-1, at the half.
In the second half, Elon continued to apply pressure on Charleston Southern immediately after the restart.Lauren McKeever had a shot just above the penalty spot saved 35 seconds into the half and Erin Tanhauserhad a shot just miss the right post at the 56:01 mark.
It would be a cross from Taylor Paradoski, that found Susannah Anderson, who played it back to Bennett for a quality finish. The shot hit off the bottom of the crossbar and crossed the line for the goal and a 1-0 lead. About 19 seconds later, Schilling placed a prefect shot from the right side of the 18-yard box into the left netting, securing Elon’s 2-0 victory. Elon outshot the Bucs 11-5 and had a 5-4 edge in the corner count.
The Phoenix returns to Rudd Field on Sunday, Aug. 21, to face triad foe High Point at 7 p.m. before hosting triad rival UNCG on Friday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m.
– Ninth year head coach Chris Neal became the program’s all-time winningest coach with his 75th win on Friday. His 75-61-24 mark surpasses Paul Webster (1995-2003), who finished his career with a 74-80-9 record in eight seasons.
– Elon takes the lead in the all-time series 4-3-0 against Charleston Southern. It was the first full matchup between the two sides since 2002.