ELON, N.C. – Looking to snap a two-game losing skid, the Elon University men’s soccer team welcomes Colonial Athletic Association leader Hofstra to Rudd Field on Saturday night, Oct. 29. The match, set to kick off at 7 p.m., will also be Senior Night as the program recognizes its two seniors, Taylor Adler and Will Smith, prior to the game.
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 through Elon’s Phoenix All-Access channel.
Saturday will only be the third all-time meeting between the Phoenix and the Pride since Elon joined the CAA in 2014. Hofstra has taken the previous two contests in the series beginning with a 2-0 victory in Elon in 2014 and a 1-0 overtime win last season in Hempstead, N.Y.
A golden goal in the 98th minute of overtime handed the Phoenix its second consecutive loss as Elon fell to in-state rival Duke on Tuesday, Oct. 22. The Blue Devils’ Brian White connected on his fifth goal of the season with two minutes left in overtime to hand the Phoenix consecutive losses for the first time all season. The victory was also Duke’s first at Rudd Field since the 2008 season.
Thank You, Seniors
On Saturday, the Phoenix will honor the lone four-year players in the program in Adler and Smith. The pair have been a part of two conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances while being contributors during Elon’s first-ever victory in the national tournament last season versus Winthrop in the opening round. Overall, Adler and Smith have been a part of 45 victories since arriving on campus in 2013.
For the ninth straight season, Elon was awarded as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Academic Team as announced on 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.
About Elon (7-4-3, 3-1-2 CAA)
Heading into the match on Saturday, Elon currently sits third in the league standings behind Hofstra (18 points) and Delaware (15 points) with 11 points with a pair of league games to play. The Pride have already clinched the No. 1 seed and the right to host the upcoming CAA Tournament, but the Phoenix still has a shot to earn the No. 2 seed and a first round bye if it wins its final two matches against Hofstra Saturday and versus UNCW next Tuesday, Nov. 1, combined with a Delaware loss at the Seahawks on Saturday.
Elon’s shutout against the Blue Devils was its first since a scoreless draw at James Madison on Sept. 24. Elon did outshoot the opponent for the third straight match and is averaging 14.5 attempts per contest on the season. The Phoenix is also tied with the Pride for third in the CAA with 24 goals with Elijah Agu accounting for a CAA-best 11 of that total. In fact, Agu has scored five of the last six goals for the Phoenix.
After posting three straight shutouts prior to its match versus Delaware and four out of the previous five, the Phoenix has conceded four goals over the last two matches. Despite those recent numbers, Elon has still allowed a league-low 11 goals and leads the CAA with a 0.74 goals against average. Elon’s seven clean sheets are also tied for first in the CAA while keeper Matthew Jegier has been credited with six shutouts.
About Hofstra (8-7-1, 6-1-0 CAA)
The 2016 CAA Preseason favorite, Hofstra had won its first six league matches before suffering a 3-1 setback at UNCW on Oct. 15. Since then, the Pride is in the midst of a three-match losing streak after recent 2-1 setbacks at No. 1 Maryland on Oct. 21, and versus Binghamton on Tuesday at home.
The Pride has scored 24 goals on the year with six players all contributing to that total. Rookie Luke Brown and junior Danny Elliott have a team-best six goals while Joseph Holland, the 2016 CAA Preseason Player of the Year, has a pair of goals with a team-best seven assists.
Defensively, Hofstra has conceded 21 goals on the year for a 1.31 average per match. Opponents however are averaging less than 10 shots per game with only 54 shots on target. Three players total have seen time in goal this season for the Pride. Overall, Hofstra netminders have a combined 1.29 GAA with 32 saves and a .604 save percentage.
Elon wraps up the regular season next Tuesday, Nov. 1, with its rescheduled home match against UNCW at 7 p.m. The Phoenix and the Seahawks were originally scheduled to play on Sept. 28 before inclement weather forced the postponement of that match.