CONWAY, S.C. – The Elon University women’s soccer team continues its four-match road swing on Thursday, Sept. 1, with a trip to Coastal Carolina. Kickoff against the Chanticleers is set for 6 p.m.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX
Updates on the match between the Phoenix and the Chanticleers will be provided on Twitter at the handle @elonscores or the program’s handle, @ElonWSoccer.
LAST TIME OUT
The Phoenix dropped both of its matches last weekend. Elon suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to UNCG on Friday, Aug. 26 at Rudd Field and lost 4-0 to the No. 8-ranked Clemson Tigers on Sunday, Aug. 28.
Elon leads the all-time series 9-3-1 overall and have won the last three contests against Coastal Carolina. Last season, the Phoenix toppled the Chanticleers 1-0 at Rudd Field thanks to a free kick from Mel Insley on Sept. 11, 2015. The last time CCU got the better of Elon was on Aug. 30, 2012 when the Chanticleers claimed a 3-0 win on Rudd Field. This will be Elon’s first visit to Coastal Carolina Soccer Stadium since Aug. 23, 2013, when the Phoenix earned the 2-0 victory.
Elon has started the season off with a 1-3 record against a challenging schedule, which had included two teams ranked in the top-three of their league’s preseason poll and one top-10 nationally ranked opponent. Tori Baliatico, Grace Bennett and Syndey Schilling have gotten on the score sheet for the Phoenix so far this season. Elon opened the season on Aug. 19 with a 2-0 win against Charleston Southern.
The Phoenix squad has 20 returners from the 2015 season, which posted a winning record of 9-8-2 and started the year with a Division I era program-best, 7-1-1 mark, in the first nine games. Elon infuses 10 newcomers into the fold, which includes nine total freshmen, three of which are international student-athletes, and a graduate transfer.
Out of the 20 returners, nine players made starts in 10 or more games in 2015. Three of the Phoenix’s top scorers from last season, juniors Susannah Anderson and Kendall Ballotti, sophomore forward and 2015 CAA All-Rookie team honoree Tori Baliatico, as well as assist leaders Sydney Schilling and Amanda Lasater, will look to assist in an improved and new-look offense. Four players who started most games on the back line will return in 2016, including Ballotti and Lasater, who are joined by seniors Kara DeGuisto and Sarah Henson. Taylor Mohr, who started in 16 matches and had five shutouts last season, returns at the goalkeeper position.
NEAL MAKES HISTORY
Ninth-year head coach Chris Neal made history on Aug. 19th, becoming the winningest coach in program history with his 75th career victory at Elon. He surpassed Paul Webster (1995-2003) for the most wins in Elon women’s soccer program history.
Sophomore Tori Baliatico earned Honorable Mention accolades by the conference as part of the 2016 Preseason All-CAA Team. The Scotch Plains, N.J. native finished tied for first on the team in points (9) and goals (4) last season and earned 2015 CAA All-Rookie Team honors. She has already scored one goal to begin this season.
SCOUTING COASTAL CAROLINA
The Chanticleers are 2-1-1 overall this season after suffering their first loss of the season on Sunday night in a 2-0 defeat to No. 2 Duke. Prior to that match, Coastal Carolina earned a 2-1 win against Winthrop, a 4-0 shutout of Wofford and a 1-1 draw against Furman. Amber Adams leads the way with a goal and two assists for four points and is one of six players to have scored this season for the Chanticleers. Goalkeeper Becca Austin earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 23 and has recorded two shutouts this season.
The Phoenix heads to Western Carolina on Sunday, Sept. 4, for a match at 4 p.m. Elon will then wrap up its road swing on Thursday, Sept. 8, with a 7 p.m. match at Charlotte.