WILMINGTON, N.C. – Kendall Ballotti scored on a header in the fourth minute, but the Elon University women’s soccer team fell to the UNCW Seahawks, 2-1, after a game-winning goal from Serenity Waters in the 92nd minute of overtime on Sunday, Oct. 23, at UNCW Soccer Stadium. Waters also scored in the 77th minute of the second half to force overtime.
With the loss, Elon finishes the 2016 season 7-9-2 overall and 2-5-2 in CAA play. UNCW clinched a spot in the CAA Tournament with the win, improves its overall record to 10-5-2 and its conference mark to 4-3-2.
“It was another great CAA battle,” said Elon head coach Chris Neal. “I’m very proud of our team for their efforts. Being on the road against a great UNCW team after a grueling 110-minute draw down at Charleston on Friday night is simply not an easy task. We had the wind in the first half and capitalized immediately and we were very close to going up another goal on multiple occasions. UNCW had the wind in the second half and put us under a lot of pressure. We all felt we had scored a perfectly good goal with 15 minutes remaining to go ahead 2-0 but the offside flag came up. It’s simply heartbreaking, but that is part of sport. I’m so proud of these seniors, and their hard work and dedication has helped us improve each year in the CAA. We will forge ahead in their honor and do great things.”
Ballotti kicked things off with a goal in the fourth minute off a corner kick from Bria Bass to give the Phoenix a 1-0 lead. The kick found the junior defender on the back post and her header went into the right corner.
In the 18th minute, Bass missed a shot from distance high. The Phoenix defense shut down UNCW most of the first half, only allowing four shots, and Elon had a 1-0 lead after 45 minutes.
UNCW opened the second half with three shots. Katelyn Fowler saved Blair Pearce’s shot in the 54th minute to keep the Phoenix in front. The Seahawks leveled the match at 1-1 in the 77th minute. Waters’ first of the match was deflected into the goal by an Elon defender.
Pressure from UNCW continued throughout the final minutes of the half, but the Elon defense kept the match at 1-1 and forced overtime.
Waters’ second goal of the match would prove to be the game-winner less than three minutes into overtime. She struck a ball from distance after an initial pass from Brittany Matsinger to clinch the 2-1 victory for UNCW.