Elon Men’s Soccer Journeys to Triad Rival High Point on Saturday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team heads to longtime Triad rival High Point for a non-conference match on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Phoenix and the Panthers are slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Vert Stadium.


Follow @ElonMensSoccer
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Saturday with updates on Twitter from the program’s handle @ElonMensSoccer. Other score updates will also be provided at the handle @elonscores as well as live stats from the men’s soccer home page. The match will also be streamed online on the Big South Network.

Versus High Point
As longtime neighboring Triad rivals, Elon and High Point will meet on the soccer pitch for the 51st time. In a series dating back to 1972 when Elon began collegiate soccer, the Panthers hold a 28-11-11 advantage all-time over the maroon and gold. The Phoenix however has won the previous two contests including a 1-0 decision in the most recent match in 2014 in Elon. Elon also had a 4-1 decision the last time the game was at High Point. Last season was the first time that the two programs did not face each other after meeting on a yearly basis since 1972.

Last Time Out
Elon was scheduled to host No. 24 UNCW in its Colonial Athletic Association home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Inclement weather along with multiple lightning delays led to a postponement of the match to be rescheduled at a later time this season.

Making Their Mark
Elon welcomed 16 newcomers to its roster for 2016 with 11 of them seeing playing time on the pitch so far this season. Including redshirt freshman, 13 total players are seeing the field for the first time in an Elon uniform. Two newcomers, defender Luke Matthews and midfielder Marcel Fahrenholz, have started every game this season while three others – Austin Hill, Jack Willbye and Tuki Tayali – have played over 150 minutes off the bench. Hill and Tayali are second and third on the squad in total points, respectively, while Matthews is seventh. Fahrenholz and Willbye are first and second on the team in assists with three and two, respectively.

Balanced Attack
So far during the 2016 season, the Phoenix has made great use of its overall depth on opposing teams. Among position players, 14 players have tallied over 150 minutes for the maroon and gold this season with 13 of them seeing action in all seven matches. A total of 11 players have notched points so far this season with Coleby being the latest to join the club after his first career goal at Radford. While Elijah Agu has accounted for six of the Phoenix 16 goals this season, he is one of eight Phoenix players to have scored a goal in 2016 and one of seven to have boasted 10 or more shot attempts.

About Elon
Elon will look to snap its longest overall winless streak of the season on Saturday versus the Panthers. This is also the longest winless streak in conference play for Elon since drawing a 1-1 tie at William & Mary and suffering a 2-0 loss against the Pride in 2014 in consecutive contests.

The Phoenix was held scoreless in its first contest of the season last Saturday at the Dukes while also being outshot in the contest. Despite that result, Elon still remains one of the top offensive teams in the league. The maroon and gold ranks second in the CAA in total shots (137), points (48), goals (16), goals per match (2.00) and assists (16).

Agu’s six goals is tied for the CAA-lead, but is looking to notch his first score since NC State on Sept. 13. The Cary, N.C., native is also second in the CAA in total points at 13 and points per match (1.62). His three game-winners is also tied for best in the league.

The Phoenix defense has allowed six goals thus far in 2016. Through eight games, Elon opponents are averaging just under 10 shots per contest and connecting with a .076 shooting percentage. Only twice this season has Elon allowed more than two goals in a match as the opposition has a .354 percentage on shots on target. Netminder Matthew Jegier is third in the league with a GAA of 0.71 and third overall in save percentage (.750).

About High Point
Under second-year head coach EJ O’Keeffe, the Panthers enter the match with a 5-3-1 record and started the season 5-0-1. Since a victory over USC Upstate on Sept. 17, High Point has dropped three straight with the latest coming in a loss at South Carolina on Wednesday in a 3-1 result.

Picked to finish second in the 2016 Big South Preseason Poll after advancing to the league championship game a season ago, HPU has scored 20 goals this season for an average of 2.22 per match. The Panthers are also averaging 17.6 shots per game and have 69 shots on target at a .437 percent clip. Eleven different players have found the back of the net for the Panthers with Siggi Benonysson and Chris Ramsell tying for the team-lead with four each.

Defensively, High Point is holding opposing teams to less than 10 shots per match while conceding 13 goals. Keeper Keegan Meyer has seen the most time between the posts this year for the Panthers posting a 1.31 GAA with 16 saves and a clean sheet.

Up Next
Elon travels north to Boston for a CAA match versus Northeastern next Saturday, Oct. 8. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.