The Elon University women’s soccer team made the short trip over to Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday afternoon to take on ACC foe North Carolina State and fell to the Wolfpack by a final of 3-0, dropping to 1-3-1 on the young season.
“We competed and put a lot of effort out there today,” Elon sophomore goalkeeper Kate Murphy said. “I don’t think we were intimidated by them at all, but they’re definitely a tough opponent to play against.”
Though kickoff was delayed 35 minutes due to lightning in the area, it didn’t slow the Wolfpack from jumping out to a fast start. Redshirt sophomore Jennie Krauser found the back of the net for the Wolfpack in the 8th minute, as she sent a ball in from outside the penalty area that glanced off the cross bar and in. The shot seemed to fool Elon goalkeeper Kate Murphy, as it appeared the ball would sail over the crossbar. Murphy ceded all three Wolfpack goals before being lifted midway through the second half to allow backup goalkeeper Shannon Cosgrove to see her first action this season after undergoing knew surgery in July. Cosgrove finished the afternoon with three saves.
The NC State goal seemed to be just the thing the Phoenix needed to get the ball moving into NC State territory, as Elon started to spread the ball and get their opportunities. It was all for naught though, as the Phoenix couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities and went into halftime down by just a goal.
“I thought that in the first half, we wavered from some of the simple things we wanted to accomplish, but fortunately we were only down 1-0 at the half," said Elon women’s soccer coach Chris Neal. I thought it could have been a couple more. But the bad part about today was we had the chances to go forward and create opportunities and just didn’t execute.”
Coming out of halftime, the Wolfpack continued their barrage. Redshirt freshman Rachel Harris found herself left all alone right in front of Elon’s Murphy in the 49th minute, capitalizing on a cross from the right corner from sophomore Cheyenne Spade to put NC State up 2-0.
The Pack didn’t back off the gas pedal, as freshman Sharon Wojcik collected the ball at midfield, dribbled through the Elon defense and launched a shot over Murphy's head to give the Wolfpack a 3-0 lead in the 58th minute. Murphy would be pulled five minutes later.
“I thought the game was gone,” Neal said. “I don’t have an opinion on the goals Kate gave up at all. Nothing stood out to me that she made a mistake on. It’s rare you’re going to go through a whole season with one goalkeeper, and it was an opportunity with the game gone to get Shannon fresh minutes.”
[box]Elon will go back to the drawing board this week in hopes of winning two games this weekend in Wilmington, NC at the UNCW Courtyard Marriot Wilmington Invitational. The Phoenix will take on Troy on Friday night, Sept. 7, and Campbell on Sunday, Sept. 9.[/box]
“Today was an honest effort on our kids part today,” Neal said. “I think we got better at certain moments that we can watch video on and learn from and we’ll go try and win two this weekend.”