Elon WSOC Erases Two-Goal Deficit to Earn Draw at UNCW

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Trailing the UNCW Seahawks early in the second half after two tallies from Baley Edwards, Elon University women’s soccer rallied with two great individual goals from Tori Baliatico and Hannah Doherty to earn a 2-2 draw in its regular season finale on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at UNCW Soccer Stadium.


After UNCW scored goals late in the first half and early in the second, Baliatico got the Phoenix within one less than a minute of Edwards’ second goal to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 56th minute. Just over 10 minutes later, Elon was awarded a free kick just outside the box and Doherty buried the set piece to level the match and help the Phoenix earn the point against the Seahawks.

“That was a great way to finish the season,” said head coach Neil Payne. “We showed real grit and determination tonight. The fact we were playing our fifth game in 12 days and fought back from two-goals down speaks to the character of the team and how they are buying in to that piece. We had some moments in the game where we played some really good soccer and we have seen that on plenty of occasions this year. Tori [Baliatico] and Hannah [Doherty] scored two of our best goals this season in important parts of the game. We are in the middle of a new cycle, there’s a certain style we have been playing, we expect certain standards and we’re not deviating from that and we’ll get it right. The team could have easily thrown in the towel, but they didn’t. I couldn’t be more pleased, particularly for our four seniors, who I thought were immense tonight.”

Elon nearly took the lead in the first 10 minutes of the match, but a Seahawk defender blocked Baliatico’s shot in the 10th minute. Kara Kimberl then had a header miss to the right of the goal in the 25th minute as the match remained scoreless.

UNCW would then take a 1-0 lead into halftime as Edwards scored her first of the evening on a header in the 33rd minute of Carey Allard’s cross. Both teams were level in shots taken at halftime at 3-3, but Elon had several chances on set pieces with a 4-0 advantage in the corner count.

Just 10 minutes into the second half, the Seahawks got on the board once again as Edwards scored her second of the game in the 55th minute to extend UNCW’s lead.

Undaunted, the Phoenix answered less than a minute later with a great individual effort from Baliatico. She capitalized on a UNCW turnover in the midfield took the ball herself the rest of the way to make the score 2-1 in the 56th minute.

UNCW had a chance to take the lead just moments later in the 57th minute, but Ashley Johnson’s header just missed over the net. Elon’s then had its first chance to level the match in the 65th minute, but UNCW defended well as they blocked Lauren McKeever’s shot attempt.

Elon finally equalized in the 68th minute as the Phoenix was awarded a free kick just outside the box after UNCW goalkeeper Sydney Scheider committed a foul. Doherty took advantage of the good position and scored a brilliant free kick to tie up the score at 2-2. The Seahawks would create on final chance in regulation with another shot from Edwards, but the attempt sailed ide in the 80th minute and the match went to overtime.

The Seahawks created the three lone chances in both overtime periods, but the Phoenix held on to earn the draw. Katelyn Fowler played all 110 minutes in goal for the Phoenix. UNCW had a slight 10-6 lead in the overall shot count, but Elon had the 9-3 advantage in corner kicks taken.

The Phoenix finishes the 2018 season 3-10-4 overall and a 1-7-1 record in conference play. UNCW ends its season with a 9-6-1 record overall and 3-5-1 ledger in CAA action.