ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s soccer team fell to the No. 20-ranked NC State Wolfpack 5-0 on Monday evening, Sept. 4, at Rudd Field.
The Phoenix falls to 3-2-1 overall with the loss and the No. 20-ranked Wolfpack improve to 4-1-0 on the season after the win.
“NC State was a tremendous test for us tonight,” said head coach Chris Neal. “They are athletic, mobile, and skilled. I thought we competed very well, and created some good chances, in the first 15 minutes of the match. However, after they scored, I felt we rolled over from a competitive standpoint. We must compete, as hard as possible for 90 minutes, against a team of that caliber. We learned a tremendous amount about ourselves tonight. NC State certainly exposed some areas that we need to cultivate. Our team is a tough crew and we will bounce back quickly and become a stronger team.”
Hannah Doherty created Elon’s first chance of the match in the eighth minute, but Grayson Cameron saved her shot from just outside the box.
The Wolfpack struck first in the 15th minute to take a 1-0 lead. After Katelyn Fowler made a great save on Kia Rankin’s initial shot, Rachel Cox was there for the rebound to put NC State ahead by one.
Pagie Griffiths put NC State up by two before halftime with a half-volley off a failed Elon clearance in the 34th minute. The Wolfpack held a 2-0 lead at the break.
Tori Baliatico had a great chance for the Phoenix just three minutes into the half but her shot from 18 yards forced Cameron to make a diving save to her right.
Just several minutes later, Tziarra King extended NC State’s lead to three in the 50th minute off of Rankin’s pass from the right side of the box. The Wolfpack got on the board again in the 72nd minute and Mikhail Johnson gave NC State a 4-0 lead off King’s assist.
The Wolfpack scored once more in the 89th minute as Ricarda Walking scored to seal the 5-0 victory.
– Both Katelyn Fowler and Valentina Estrada saw time in goal for the Phoenix. Fowler made three saves in the first half and Estrada made four saves in the second half.
– NC State was the first ranked team to visit Rudd Field in seven years. The last ranked opponent to visit Elon was No. 16 UNCG in 2010.
The Phoenix hits the road on Thursday night, Sept. 7, to face the Richmond Spiders at 7 p.m.