Elon WSOC Phoenix Earns Hard-Fought Draw in CAA Opener

ELON, N.C. – Carson Jones equalized in the 58th minute and Hanna Macaulay made big saves for the Phoenix as the Elon University women’s soccer team earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw against UNCW to open Colonial Athletic Association play on Thursday, Sept. 21, at Rudd Field.


After Nikki Cox gave the Seahawks the lead in the 54th minute, the Phoenix responded less than four minutes later to level the match. Jones volleyed a rebound off a UNCW save of Meredith Christopher’s shot. Macaulay also made nine saves to help the Phoenix earn a point.

“It was an very exciting match to start CAA play,” said head coach Chris Neal. “I think both teams created some really good chances and also dodged a few bullets. UNCW really did a great job in the first half with their energy and pressure. That is a testament to their culture and coaching staff. I thought we settled in after the first half and got more of what we wanted out of the match.”

Elon extends its unbeaten streak to five matches, moving to 7-2-2 overall and 0-0-1 in CAA play. UNCW’s record becomes 4-5-2 overall and 0-0-1 after the draw.

Tori Baliatico created Elon’s best opportunity of the first half as she got behind the Seahawks back line in the 36th minute. She broke away from the back line, cut a defender inside and took a shot, but UNCW goalkeeper Sydney Schneider stretched to her right to make the save.

UNCW dominated the first half, especially in chances having the 14-5 advantage in the first half. However, the match remained 0-0 after 45 minutes of action.

In the second half, UNCW took a 1-0 advantage in less than nine minutes. Serenity Waters dribbled to the end line in the 54th minute and her cross found Cox inside the six yard box for the goal.

Less than four minutes later, Christopher got behind the UNCW back line, had her shot attempt saved, but Jones was there to volley the rebound from 16 yards to level the match in the 58th minute.

The shot count was even at 7-7 in the second half, but neither team could find a winner after 90 minutes and the match went into overtime.

UNCW created the only three attempts during both overtime periods. Waters had a shot miss high and a header miss to the left in the first overtime, and Molly McGarry created a chance in the second overtime, but Elon held on for the draw.

Elon lost the shot count 24-12, but had an 8-7 edge in the corner battle. Macaulay continued her undefeated season making nine saves in 110 minutes of action.

– Carson Jones scored her third goal of the season off Meredith Christopher’s team-high sixth assist.
– The Phoenix extends its unbeaten streak to five matches with the draw against UNCW to open conference play.
– Elon is also unbeaten in CAA openers for three consecutive seasons.
– Senior goalkeeper Hanna Macaulay remains undefeated with a 5-0-2 mark this season.

The Phoenix wraps up its CAA opening week with a matchup against James Madison on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 1 p.m. on Rudd Field.