MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Meredith Christopher scored in the 103rd minute and the Elon University women’s soccer team defeated College of Charleston 2-1 in double overtime on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1, at Patriots Point Soccer Complex.
Hannah Doherty chipped a ball through to Christopher making a run on the left side of the box. After her initial shot was saved by Charleston goalkeeper, Genevieve Henderson, Christopher poked the rebound into the near post past a Charleston defender for the game-winner.
“We are proud of our performance and of each other today,” said head coach Chris Neal. “We played with tremendous passion and desire. College of Charleston is a very talented team that is extremely organized and well coached. Today was a big day for our program.”
The Phoenix improves to 8-4-2 overall and 1-2-1 in CAA play after the conference victory. College of Charleston falls to 5-5-1 overall and 0-2-1 in CAA action after the loss.
The Phoenix opened the scoring in the third minute as Hannah Doherty got on the end of a high ball from Taylor Paradoski inside the box. She struck the bouncing ball with her right foot on the right post to give Elon a 1-0 lead.
The first 45 minutes was a defensive battle, but the Phoenix had several dangerous chances on free kicks. There were only a total of six recorded shots taken in the half with Elon holding the 4-2 edge. Hailey Tuckertabbed Elon’s second shot on frame in the 36th minute, which was saved by Henderson.
Elon got off on the right foot in the second half as Susannah Anderson’s header off Doherty’s corner kick was blocked. Reena Wichmann also saw another great chance miss to the left in the 64th minute.
College of Charleston would tie up the match in the 68th minute after Elon committed a foul just outside the top of the box. Laura Ortega capitalized on the free kick to level the match at 1-1 with just over 17 minutes remaining in the half.
The Phoenix had one final chance in regulation to snatch the victory on a late corner kick, but Anderson’s head missed inches to the right in the 89th minute. Hanna Macaulay made a huge save less than a minute later, tipping a shot from Ortega over the bar, denying the Cougars a chance to win the match and sending the contest to overtime.
The Cougars opened overtime with a shot by Maddy Brill-Edwards in the 92nd minute, which was saved by Macaulay. Kara Kimberl had a great opportunity for Elon in 94th minute off a corner kick, but her shot was blocked by a Charleston defender and cleared. Tori Baliatico and Rakel Jonsdottir had two follow-up chances, but the score remained 1-1 heading into a second overtime.
Christopher then notched the game-winner just less than four minutes into the second overtime period. Doherty played a chip pass over the Charleston back line to find Christopher making a run. After the leg of Genevieve Henderson saved Christopher’s initial shot, she poked the rebound past a Cougar defender for the goal.
The Phoenix outshot the Cougars 15-9, while Charleston had slightly more corners with a 6-5 advantage. Macaulay played every minute in net, recording four saves for the maroon and gold.
– The Phoenix improves to 1-0-2 overall this campaign in double overtime matches. Elon has not lost a double overtime match since the 2015 season.
– Under the direction of head coach Chris Neal, Elon has now won eight or more matches in seven of the 10 seasons he has been head coach.
– The result marks coach Neal’s 125th career victory as a head coach in 13 seasons.
– Meredith Christopher leads the team in scoring this season with five goals and notched her second game-winner of the year. She has team-highs in goals (5), assists (6), and points (16) this season.
The Phoenix returns to Rudd Field for the third week of conference play, hosting William & Mary on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. and reigning CAA Champion Northeastern on Sunday, Oct. 8, at noon.