ELON, N.C. – Taylor Paradoski and Kate McKay each scored in the second half to propel Elon University women’s soccer to a 2-0 Senior Day victory over Towson on Sunday, Sept. 30, at Rudd Field.
Before the match, the Phoenix honored its four-member senior class of Tori Baliatico, Lauren McKeever, Jenny Riemer and Nyah Spearman.
Paradoski finished a rebound off a saved Lily Harkes header in the 60th minute to put the Phoenix on the board. McKay rounded off the scoring with her first-career tally seven minutes later off an excellent corner from Baliatico, which secured the 2-0 victory.
“I feel good for the group after this win because they’ve been working so hard,” said head coach Neil Payne. “Today, I think they’ve been rewarded not just for the work they’ve put in this game, but the work over the last couple of months and it all came together for us today. Not only was I happy about the goals we scored, but also that our defenders and goalkeeper showed resiliency. Towson put a lot of pressure on us, and we dealt with it. Overall, I am very pleased with the performance.”
The Phoenix improves to 3-5-3 overall and 1-2-0 in CAA action, while the Tigers fall to 3-10-1 overall and 0-4-0 in conference play with the loss.
In the first half, Elon had the most chances to take the lead as they had a 7-3 lead in the shot count after 45 minutes. Baliatico had two chances on a breakaway in the sixth and 18th minutes that missed to the left.
McKay had a good opportunity on the near post off Harkes’ corner kick, but Towson goalkeeper Megan Collins made a solid save in the 43rd minute. Despite the chances, Elon and Towson were scoreless after the first half.
In the second half, Paradoski got on the end of a saved Harkes’ header on the near post and scored her team-best fourth goal of the season in the 60th minute. The play started from yet another great corner from Baliatico, which gave Harkes a chance to score initially.
Just seven minutes later, McKay used a powerful header off another Baliatico corner to score her first-career goal and extend Elon’s lead 2-0.
Towson put a ton of pressure on the Phoenix in the second half and took plenty of shots in an attempt to make a breakthrough. Despite the Tigers outshooting Elon 17-3 in the second half, the Phoenix was stout defensively and held on for its first conference win of the season.
In goal for Elon, Valentina Estrada earned her fourth shutout of the season making seven saves while facing 20 shot attempts from Towson. The Tigers outshot the Phoenix 20-10 in the match and also had a 6-4 edge in corner kicks taken.
The Phoenix hits the road for the first time since Aug. 31 with a contest at Northeastern on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m.