(HPU Story Follows)
ELON, N.C. – Reena Wichmann and Grace Bennett got Elon University women’s soccer off and running with two goals in the first 10 minutes and the Phoenix put away three more in the second half to defeat Triad rival High Point 5-1 on Sunday evening, Sept. 10, at Rudd Field.
Five different Phoenix scored in the game, including first-career goals from Wichmann, Rakel Jonsdottir and Laura Mitchell. Elon scored five goals at Rudd Field for the first time since winning 5-0 on Sept. 8, 2013, which was also against High Point.
“I’m happy for our student-athletes and staff tonight,” said head coach Chris Neal. “There are so many positives to reflect on. We will enjoy the victory tonight but we will keep the bar high and by 7 a.m. tomorrow our focus will be on UNC Asheville next Thursday.”
The Phoenix improves to 5-2-1 overall with the win and the Panthers fall to 2-6-0 on the season after the loss.
Wichmann scored just 42 seconds into the match, the first of her career, and gave the Phoenix a 1-0 lead. She beat several High Point defenders after Amanda Lasater’s throw-in and poked the ball past goalkeeper Alex Hank for the goal.
Less than eight minutes later, Bennett gave the Phoenix a 2-0 lead, placing her shot from 16 yards into the left corner of the net for her first goal of the season and sixth of her career.
The Phoenix had plenty of chances to score in the first half, outshooting the Panthers 6-5 in the period, but it remained a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes.
Kendall Ballotti hit a volley off a Lasater’s cross and Taylor Paradoski’s re-directed pass in the 63rd minute to extend Elon’s lead 3-0. Exactly two minutes later, the Phoenix struck again through Jonsdottir as she finished off a Meredith Christopher corner kick in the 65th minute.
High Point got on the board in the 85th minute to cut into Elon’s lead. Mackenzie Mullins’ shot from outside the box bounced off of Phoenix goalkeeper Katelyn Fowler into the net to make the score 4-1 with just over five minutes to play.
Laura Mitchell put the icing on the cake just two minutes later, scoring her first-career goal in the 87th minute to seal Elon’s 5-1 victory over High Point.
Hanna Macaulay made her fourth start of the season and played for 75 minutes to earn her third win of the season. She made five saves and improved her record to 3-0-1 overall. Fowler came in for the final 15 minutes and made two saves.
– The Phoenix scored five goals in a game at home for the first time since beating High Point 5-0 on Sept. 8, 2013 at Rudd Field.
– Elon scored five goals in a match for the first time since defeating South Carolina State 5-0 on Sept. 6, 2015 in Orangeburg, S.C.
– It was the first time Elon had five different players score in a match since defeating Francis Marion 6-1 on Oct. 6, 2013.
The Phoenix hits the road to wrap up non-conference play with trips to UNC Asheville on Thursday, Sept. 14 and Davidson on Sunday, Sept. 17.
Mullins Scores First Career Goal, HPU Falls 5-1
• Freshman Mackenzie Mullins netted her first career goal, deflecting a shot off the Phoenix keeper.
• Sophomore goalkeeper Talia Klimes made her first career appearance, playing the entire second half in net
• The Panthers finish non-conference play on Sunday, Sep. 17 at home against Marshall at 1 p.m.
ELON, N.C. – The High Point University women’s soccer team wrapped up the road portion of its non-conference slate with a 5-1 setback against Elon on Sunday night at Rudd Stadium. HPU saw 27 players participate in the match.
“I thought from 18′ to 18′ we were fantastic tonight,” head coach Marty Beall said. “We had a very slow start to the game, which is disappointing. I thought we settled in, responded really well, and generated some good chances. Inside the 18′ on both ends, we struggled. That’s an area we have to get better in if we want to compete for a Big South regular season or tournament championship.”
Elon (5-2-1) started off extremely fast, scoring 42 seconds into the match. A quick throw-in sprung Reena Wichmann down the left side. The Phoenix attacker worked her way into the box and went low right side past senior Alex Hank for the goal.
The Phoenix utilized a throw-in to add to their lead in the eighth minute. Grace Bennett received the pass and weaved her way through the Panther defense into the top of the box, where she fired high left side past an outstretched Hank to grow the lead to 2-0.
High Point’s offense ruled the match in the final 20 minutes of the first half. A pair of flip throws from senior Becca Rolfe led to two dynamic chances for High Point (2-6-0), one that was saved off the foot of freshman Mackenzie Mullins, and another that was sent high by sophomore Alex Denny.
HPU started strong in the second half as well, with Rolfe’s flip throw leading to a strong chance from senior Lindsay Elsen in the 49th minute, who had her shot saved. A minute later, senior Michele Micciche’s free kick from 25 yards away hit the crossbar.
Despite the solid possession, Elon was able to reclaim momentum and break through for goals in the 63rd and 65th minute to grow the lead to 4-0.
The Panthers were able to get on the board in the 85th minute on a heads-up play from Mullins. A loose ball rolled to the freshman outside the box, where she fired on net and saw the ball deflect off the Elon keeper to get HPU on the board.
Elon regained its four-goal advantage on a deflection two minutes later to account for the final margin.
HPU ended up outshooting Elon 13-11, the first match this season in which the Panthers had the edge in shots. High Point also held an 8-7 advantage in on-target chances. Sophomore Talia Klimes saw her first action of her career in net for the Panthers in the second half.
The Panthers will take a week off before wrapping up non-conference play at home against Marshall on Sunday, Sep. 17. Kickoff at Vert Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m.