Elon Women’s Soccer Heads to the Queen City on Thursday to Face the 49ers

CHARLOTTE – The Elon University women’s soccer team is set to make a trip to the Queen City on Thursday, Sept. 8, to take on the Charlotte 49ers. Kickoff between the Phoenix and the 49ers is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The match will be played at the 49ers Practice Facility due to ongoing renovations at Transamerica Field. For more information on the facility and parking, please click HERE.

Updates on the match between the Phoenix and the 49ers will be provided on Twitter at the handle @elonscores or the program’s handle, @ElonWSoccer.

Elon is currently on a two-match winning streak after earning a 2-1 victory at Coastal Carolina on Sept. 1, and shutting out Western Carolina 1-0 on Sept. 4. Susannah Anderson, Erin Tanhauser and Sarah Henson all got on the score sheet in both wins. Goalkeeper Katelyn Fowler posted a shutout in all 135 minutes of action over both matches.

Charlotte owns the slim 2-1 lead in the all-time series. Both teams will meet for the fourth time on Thursday. Elon won the latest matchup on Sept. 20, 2015, with a 4-2 victory on Hispanic Heritage Night at Rudd Field. Samantha Burch scored twice, while Sydney Schilling and Mariah Marrero also got on the score sheet in the victory. Prior to last season, the last two matchups between the Phoenix and the 49ers came in 1999 and 2000.

Freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Fowler was named CAA Rookie of the Week after posting a shutout in 135 minutes of action against Coastal Carolina and Western Carolina last week. She came into the match on Thursday at halftime as a substitute, did not allow a goal in the second half, and made two big saves to help the Phoenix preserve a 2-1 victory over the Chanticleers. Fowler also earned her first-career shutout in a 1-0 victory at Western Carolina, making four saves in 90 minutes of action.

Elon has started the season off with a 3-3 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. Six different players have scored for the Phoenix so far this season. Graduate transfer Bria Bass has a team-high two assists thus far.

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.

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. He earned his 76th win on Thursday against Coastal Carolina.

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.

The 49ers are also 3-3 overall this season against a tough schedule. Two of Charlotte’s three losses were against teams ranked in the NSCAA Top-25 (#9 North Carolina, #22 South Carolina). The 49ers have posted victories against Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Mercer this season. Martha Thomas leads the way with nine points on two goals and a team-high five assists. Megan Greene and Julia Grainda have each scored three times this season.

Elon returns home on Sunday, Sept. 11, to face Richmond at 1 p.m. on Rudd Field. The match will begin a string of five consecutive home matches for the Phoenix.