ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s soccer returns home to Rudd Field on Sunday, Sept. 11, to host the Richmond Spiders. The match is slated for at 1 p.m. start time.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX
Phoenix All-Access will air the match. John Roddey and Jennifer Berman will have the call from Rudd Field. Updates on the match between the Phoenix and the Spiders will be provided on Twitter at the handle @elonscores or the program’s handle, @ElonWSoccer.
LAST TIME OUT
Elon dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Charlotte in overtime on Thursday night. Sydney Schilling’s goal in the 65th minute gave the Phoenix a 1-0 lead, but Megan Greene’s goals with 33 seconds remaining in regulation and in the 94th minute of overtime carried the 49ers to a 2-1 victory at the 49ers Practice Facility.
This will be the first-ever matchup between the Phoenix and the Spiders on Sunday. This is the first of two matchups this season where Elon will face a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, as the Phoenix will host Davidson on Sept. 15. Richmond was once a full member of the CAA from 1979 until 2001.
FOWLER TABBED CAA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
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 3-4 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 and Schilling leads the way with two goals 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.
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. 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 Spiders enter the match with a 4-2 record this season and are 1-0 overall against CAA schools. Richmond defeated James Madison 4-2 on Aug. 26. Lexi Prillaman has been on a tear with 15 points on seven goals and one assist in six games. Her seven goals currently ranks second nationally and her 15 points is ranked fifth in NCAA Division I. She was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week on Aug. 30. Prillaman and freshman Brooke Beam earned A-10 Offensive Player and Rookie of the Week respectively on Aug. 29.
Elon will be back on Rudd Field to host the Davidson Wildcats on Thursday, Sept. 15. The match will kick off at 7 p.m.