ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s soccer team opens the 2019 campaign at the John Rennie/Nike Invitational at Duke University this Friday, August 30. The Phoenix opens the tournament versus CSU Bakersfield on Friday at 5 p.m. before ending the weekend versus Furman on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 12 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium.
How to Follow
Both games this weekend will be streamed on the ACC Network Extra via WatchESPN. Live stats will also be available for fans to follow along with live updates on Twitter at @ElonMSoccer.
At the John Rennie/Nike Invitational
• This is the seventh straight season that the Phoenix will open its season at the John Rennie/Nike Invitational.
• Overall, Elon is 7-3-2 at the tournament including a 1-1 ledger last season. The Phoenix has earned at least one win every season at the tournament.
• Since beginning play at the tournament in 2013, Elon is 2-2-2 in the opening contest. Overall, the Elon men’s soccer program has posted an 18-26-3 record in its first match of the season through its 46-year history.
• The Phoenix will meet CSU Bakersfield for the first time on the soccer pitch.
• Elon trails Furman in the all-time series, 5-9-2. This is the first meeting between the Phoenix and the Paladins since 2013 when the pair were members of the Southern Conference.
• The Phoenix begins its third season under head coach Marc Reeves. Through his nine seasons as a head coach, Reeves is 87-56-28 overall.
• Elon welcomes back 22 letterwinners and five starters from last year’s team. The Phoenix went 5-8-2 last season, but had a pair of victories against top-25 opponents (No. 20 FIU and No. 25 James Madison) while also defeating another 2018 NCAA Tournament team at High Point.
• Among the notable returners for the Phoenix includes senior defender Luke Matthews. The Swindon, England, native was a first team All-CAA selection a year ago and garnered 2019 Preseason All-CAA accolades.
• Senior striker Iñigo Bronte was also an All-CAA choice in 2018 in his first season with the Phoenix. The Pamplona, Spain, native led the Phoenix in total points (13) and goals (six).
• Elon welcomes 11 new players to its roster in 2019. Of the 11 players, eight are international players.
• Four players will don the captain armband for the Phoenix this season. Matthews returns as one of the captains for the squad while fellow seniors Josh Blank, Caner Snover and John Walden will join him among the leadership group.
• Elon closed out its 2019 exhibition schedule with a 1-0-1 record. The Phoenix earned a 2-1 victory at Davidson on Aug. 19 before closing its its preseason with a 1-1 draw versus Campbell on Aug. 24.
Scouting CSU Bakersfield
• The Roadrunners are coming off a 5-12-1 record in 2018 including a 3-7-1 record in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play.
• CSU Bakersfield posted a 1-2 record during its exhibition season and was tabbed to finish ninth in the 2019 WAC Preseason Poll.
• The Roadrunners scored 22 goals last season and returns leading scorer Ryan Goldsmith to his striker position. Goldsmith netted five goals and four assists in 2018 and led the program with 14 points.
• Richie Grant is in his fifth season leading the helm of the CSU Bakersfield program. His overall record stands at 29-37-12 with the Roadrunners.
• The Paladins went 13-7-2 in 2018 and claimed its third SoCon Tournament in the last five seasons while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Furman was receiving votes in the preseason United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll and was chosen to finish second in the 2019 SoCon Preseason Poll.
• Four Paladin players were selected to the 2019 Preseason All-SoCon Team. Rocky Guerra, Ben Hale, Emery May and Jack Shiels were voted on the team by the conference’s head coaches.
• May returns as the leading goal scorer for Furman after tallying nine last season in 22 matches. Hale posted a 1.01 goals against average and totaled eight shutouts between the posts to earn SoCob Goalkeeper of the Year accolades.
• Doug Allison has a record of 298-138-56 over his 24 seasons as the head coach at Furman.
Elon begins a four-match homestand beginning with a visit from Power Five foe Rutgers to Rudd Field on Saturday, Sept. 7. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.