Henson’s Strike Propels Elon Women’s Soccer Past Western Carolina

CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Sarah Henson found the back of the net in the 77th minute, finishing a bouncing ball in the box, and the Elon University women’s soccer team earned a 1-0 victory at Western Carolina on Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Catamount Athletic Complex.

Henson scored the game-winning goal and her first of the season off a pass from Grace Bennett with just over 13 minutes to play to clinch the win. Freshman goalkeeperKatelyn Fowler made her second career start, earned her first-career shutout and made four saves. Elon improves to 3-3 overall with the win and the Catamounts fall to 2-4 overall with the loss.

“Sunday games are a grind,” said head coach Chris Neal. “It’s not always pretty, especially early in the year and on the road. Western Carolina made us very uncomfortable in the first half, but we responded well in second half. I’m really proud of our team for going on the road twice this week and earning two tough wins.”

The Phoenix only had one shot in the first half which came from Breanna Mitchell in the 34th minute. Although the shot was on frame, Western Carolina goalkeeper Carly Tinstman made the save. Fowler made three saves in the first half to keep score 0-0 at halftime.

The momentum changed in Elon’s favor in the second half as the Phoenix outshot Western Carolina 5-4. Tori Baliatico created the first chance of the half in the 54th minute, forcing Tinstman to make a save.

Elon then bombarded the Catamounts with three shots in a span of four minutes entering the final 20 minutes of the match. The first attempt came from Erin Tanhauser, but her shot missed wide in the 74th minute.

After Bria Bass’ shot was blocked, Henson finished a bouncing ball in the box from Bennett to give the Phoenix a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute.

Western Carolina got off two more shots in the last 10 minutes. Elon blocked the first attempt in the 84thminute and the Catamounts’ final attempt from Sayers Mckenna in the 89th minute missed wide.

Elon would hold on for its second shutout of the season and second consecutive victory. Western Carolina led the shot count by a 7-6 margin, but the Phoenix held a 5-0 edge in corners.

– The goal was Sarah Henson’s second of her career. It was the first goal she has scored since her sophomore year in 2014, which was also a game-winner.
– Elon records its second shutout of the season and first since a 2-0 win over Charleston Southern on Aug. 19 in the season opener.

Elon concludes its road swing on Thursday, Sept. 8, with a 7 p.m. match at Charlotte before returning home on Sunday, Sept. 11, against Richmond for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Rudd Field.