ELON, N.C. – With the conference tournament approaching, the Elon University women’s soccer team’s regular season comes to an end with a pivotal final weekend in Colonial Athletic Association play at College of Charleston on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. and at UNCW on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX
You can watch both matches on Phoenix All-Access. Updates on the match against the Cougars and the Seahawks will be provided on Twitter at the handle@elonscores and the program’s handle,@ElonWSoccer.
CAA TOURNAMENT OUTLOOK
Elon is currently ninth in the CAA standings heading into the final weekend of the regular season. However, with the top-six teams earning a spot in the postseason, the Phoenix is currently just three points out of the top six. Two wins for the maroon and gold would clinch a spot in the CAA tournament. Elon could get in to the tournament with four points, but with the addition of some help around the league. Northeastern and James Madison are the only teams to secure a CAA Tournament berth while the other eight teams are still in playoff contention.
Friday will be the 17th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and the Cougars. Elon won the most recent matchup 2-0 on Oct. 11, 2015 at Rudd Field on Senior Day. Tori Baliatico andSusannah Anderson scored the goals for the Phoenix. College of Charleston does lead the all-time series 9-6-1 heading into the matchup.
The Phoenix and the Seahawks will face each other for the third time on Sunday. UNCW is 2-0 all time against the Phoenix. The Seahawks claimed a 2-0 victory in the last matchup on Oct. 9, 2015 at Rudd Field. Elon traveled to UNCW in 2014 and lost 2-0 on Oct. 5.
LAST TIME OUT
The Phoenix earned a point in CAA play with a scoreless draw against Drexel on Friday, Oct. 14. Elon fell to Delaware 2-0 on Senior Day Sunday, Oct. 16, on Rudd Field.
Elon currently has a 7-8-2 overall record and is 2-4-1 overall in conference play. The maroon and gold has picked up both CAA wins with a 2-1 overtime victory against Towson on Sept. 23 and a 3-0 shutout of William & Mary on Sunday, Oct. 2. The Phoenix also earned a point against Drexel on Friday, Oct. 14. Elon has seven points in the table heading into the final weekend.
The Phoenix finished with a 5-4-1 overall record against non-conference opponents, 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). The maroon and gold is currently unbeaten in four of its last five non-conference matches.
Nine different players have scored for the Phoenix so far this season. Baliatico and Tanhauser have a team-high four goals this season. Susannah Anderson has a team-high four assists.
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 graduate transfer Bria Bass.
CAA ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
Taylor Paradoski and Katelyn Fowler have earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors this season. After tallying five total points with two goals and an assist in a 3-0 win at William & Mary on Sunday, Oct. 2, Paradoski earned the honor on Monday, Oct. 3. Paradoski scored twice in the first half, scored the game-winning goal, and assisted Tori Baliatico’s goal in the second half to lead the Phoenix to a 3-0 road victory against the Tribe. Fowler was named CAA Rookie of the Week on Sept. 5 after posting 135 minutes of shutout play in goal for the Phoenix in wins against Coastal Carolina and Western Carolina.
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 79th win on Friday against Towson.
The Cougars enter the weekend with a 10-6-1 record and 3-3-1 mark in CAA play. College of Charleston has won two of its last three league games, including a 2-1 victory over Towson on Sunday. Laura Ortega leads the team with 19 points on six goals and seven assists. Jessica Schifer leads the team with seven goals this season and has 16 total points.
UNCW has an 8-5-3 overall record and a 2-3-2 CAA mark. Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Seahawks occupy the eighth position in the CAA standings. UNCW will be aiming to rebound from a pair of league losses last weekend. After dropping a tough 1-0 decision at Towson on Friday night, the Seahawks suffered a 4-0 setback at James Madison on Sunday afternoon. Junior forward Serenity Waters leads the Seahawks’ offense with 19 points. She has tallied six goals, including three game-winning markers, with seven assists.
If Elon makes the CAA tournament, the quarterfinals begin on Sunday, Oct. 30, with the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds hosting the first round matches. Times of those games will be determined later. The CAA Championship semifinals and final will be hosted by the No. 1 seed. The semifinals will take place on Friday, Nov. 4 and the championship match will take place on Sunday, Nov. 6.