Elon Women’s Soccer Set to Host Davidson on Thursday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s soccer team continues its five-match homestand on Thursday night, Sept. 15, when it hosts the Davidson Wildcats at Rudd Field. The match will begin at 7 p.m.

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

Elon earned a draw against Richmond in a six-goal thriller on Sunday, Sept. 11. After a late goal from Erin Tanhauser in the 82nd minute that leveled the match, Katelyn Fowler’s penalty save in the second overtime period denied the Spiders from a chance to snatch the win, preserving a 3-3 draw. Alexis de Groot also scored her first collegiate goal in the victory.

The Phoenix and the Wildcats will face each other for the 24th time on Thursday night. Davidson holds the 13-9-1 edge in the all-time series. However, Elon has won the last three contests dating back to when the two schools were last Southern Conference foes. In the last meeting, Elon defeated the Wildcats 1-0 in Davidson, N.C. thanks to an overtime winner fromKendall Ballotti.

Elon has started the season off with a 3-4-1 record against a challenging schedule, which included three teams ranked in the top-three of their league’s preseason poll (High Point, UNCG and Coastal Carolina) and one top-10 nationally ranked opponent (#8 Clemson). Eight different players have scored for the Phoenix so far this season. Erin Tanhauser and Sydney Schilling lead the way with two goals this season. Graduate transfer Bria Bass and Susannah Anderson have 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 has infused 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 Anderson and Ballotti, sophomore forward and 2015 CAA All-Rookie team honoree Tori Baliatico, as well as assist leaders Sydney Schillingand 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.

Freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Fowler was named CAA Rookie of the Week on Sept. 5, after posting a shutout in 135 minutes of action against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 1 and Western Carolina on Sept. 4. She came into the match against the Chanticleers 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 Coastal Carolina. Fowler also earned her first-career shutout in a 1-0 victory at Western Carolina, making four saves in 90 minutes of action.

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 Wildcats are 4-4 overall after the first eight games of the 2016 season. Davidson has earned three of its four victories at home with its lone road win coming against Gardner-Webb. The Wildcats are coming off a solid performance on Sunday, which saw them narrowly fall 1-0 at Wake Forest. Seeley Yoo is Davidson’s leading scorer with three goals this season. Like the Phoenix, the Wildcats have also had eight different goal scorers this season.

Elon will get a week off from matches before starting CAA play on Friday, Sept. 23, when it hosts the Towson Tigers on Hispanic Heritage night at Rudd Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the match with be broadcasted on Phoenix All-Access.