ELON, N.C. – Coming off a six-match road trip and nearly 40 days since its last home contest, the Elon University men’s soccer team welcomes William & Mary to Rudd Field for a Colonial Athletic Association tilt on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Fans can follow the Phoenix on Wednesday 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 be streamed for free at elonphoenix.com through its Phoenix All-Access channel with John Roddey and Jenny Berman on the call.
Versus William & Mary
Elon and William & Mary have met six times in the young series with the Tribe holding the upper hand with a 4-1-1 all-time advantage. League foes since 2014, the Phoenix is winless versus the Tribe with a 0-1-1 ledger in the past two seasons with both games coming in Williamsburg, Va. Last season, Elon had its worst loss during the regular season with a 4-1 defeat at the Tribe and last won a game versus William & Mary in 2012. Wednesday’s contest will be the first in Elon between the two teams since 2013.
Elon closed out a six-match road swing with a 1-0 victory at Northeastern on Saturday, Oct. 8. Sophomore Jack Willbye provided the lone goal and game-winner in the 35th minute off a free kick to earn the Phoenix its first three points in league play (1-0-2). The victory was also Elon’s third over the Huskies in the past four games. The clean sheet was also Elon’s fifth of the season and second overall during CAA play.
Elon’s recent stretch of six consecutive true road matches is the longest slate in program history besting the total of five straight in 2005. The Phoenix suffered only one setback during its six-match road swing, a 2-1 overtime loss at then No. 24 Radford on Sept. 17. Compared to rest of the CAA, Elon is tied with Hofstra and Northeastern for playing the most non-home contests with eight. When the Phoenix and the Tribe kickoff on Wednesday, it will be Elon’s first home game at Rudd Field in 39 days.
For the ninth straight season, Elon was awarded as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Academic Team as announced last Thursday, Oct 6. The Phoenix produced a team GPA of 3.0 or higher for the ninth year in a row and was one of 315 men’s soccer teams that were honored by the NSCAA. Elon was also one of six teams from the Colonial Athletic Association that were recognized.
On Monday, Oct. 10, freshman defender Luke Matthews was honored as the CAA Rookie of the Week after helping the Phoenix to its first league win of the year at Northeastern. Despite Elon being outshot by the Huskies 16-13, Matthews helped the Phoenix to its fifth shutout of the year while manning all 90 minutes from his center back spot. The Swindon, England, native is only one of two players for the Phoenix (Jonathan Coleby) who has played every minute on the pitch this season.
About Elon (5-2-3, 1-0-2 CAA)
Elon’s victory at Northeastern pushed the Phoenix for a tie for third place in the CAA standings with William & Mary with five points. Hofstra is atop the league standings with 15 points and a perfect 5-0 CAA ledger while Delaware is second with nine points and a 3-1 league mark. A victory on Wednesday would give Elon sole possession of third before moving into its match at last-place Drexel on Saturday.
Over that six-game road stretch, Elon was 2-1-3 overall and held opponents to less than a goal a game (0.67) while posting three shutouts. Overall defensively, the Phoenix has allowed a CAA-low seven goals on the season and only one in three league games with the Phoenix having a 0.29 GAA in those contests. Keeper Matthew Jegier is the CAA-leader in GAA at 0.65 and save percentage (.811).
Elon’s offense has slowed down during the six-game road swing with the Phoenix averaging a goal per match. Despite being outshot for the third straight game, Elon is still leading the CAA in shots per match (16.20) and is in the top three in the league in points (53), goals (18) and goals per game (1.80). Willbye became the ninth different goal scorer for the Phoenix this season with his first career goal at Northeastern.
About William & Mary
The Tribe enters the match with a 6-4-2 overall record and a 1-2-2 mark in CAA play after a 2-1 setback at Hofstra last Saturday. As of last week, William & Mary was receiving votes in the NSCAA Top 25 rankings and has a 2-2-1 record in road contests this season.
On the year, seven different players have contributed to the Tribe’s 24 goals this season which leads the CAA. Four players have reached double-digit point totals this year with Antonio Bustamante leading the way with 15 points on a team-high six goals along with three assists. Ryder Bell is next with 13 points (five goals, three assists) while William Eskay is third with 12 on four goals and a team-best four assists.
At the other end, William & Mary has conceded 14 goals this season (1.17 per match) with opponents averaging just over 10 shots per game. Phil Breno has played all but 22 minutes in goal this season and has turned in a goals-against average of 1.08, a save percentage of .768 and has tallied four shutouts.
Elon heads to Philadelphia for the first time for its final league road game of the season as the Phoenix takes on Drexel on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.