Elon University women’s soccer head coach Chris Neal said it, and the team got it.

The Elon women’s soccer team collected four points on a pivotal weekend with matches against Georgia Southern University and Davidson College.

The Phoenix welcomed Georgia Southern to Rudd Field on Friday, Oct. 12, looking to keep their four match unbeaten streak alive. Though only being able to muster two shots on goal, it proved to be enough as it only took one to top the Eagles and earn three points in the Southern Conference standings.

In the 25th minute, junior midfielder Simi Dhaliwal found junior forward Chelsey Stark open on the right post. Stark headed the ball into the back right corner of the goal, giving the Phoenix their only goal on the evening.

“There wasn’t a lot of rhythm to tonight’s game, which our team was prepared for,” Neal told elonphoenix.com following the game. “We didn’t create a lot of chances, but we did create quality ones.”

Sunday’s challenge proved a bit tougher, as the Phoenix welcomed the Davidson Wildcats on senior day. Before the game, Elon honored seniors defender Claire O’Keeffe, midfielders Shannon Foley and Jaclyn Wood and goalkeeper Shannon Cosgrove.

“It’s hard to believe it’s actually happening,” O’Keeffe said. “You look back at all the years and all of the other senior nights and you never think that your night is going to come any time soon. It’s just crazy to think about. This season has been so much fun and to think about it coming to a close and your career coming to an end, it’s obviously a really scary thing to think about.”

All four seniors started the senior day game. Cosgrove tallied two saves in the first half before giving way to sophomore Kate Murphy.

“Shannon hasn’t given up a goal this year,” Neal said. “She’s played a phenomenal role for us this year. The backup goalkeeper is not an easy role, especially behind Kate Murphy. She’s been extremely professional. She comes in and she does her job. Bottom line. She’s been very professional.”

While the Phoenix could only get three shots off, the Elon defense held strong, weathering 17 Davidson shots, 10 on goal, to preserve a scoreless draw and earning the fourth point Neal desired for the weekend.

“Davidson is one of the most athletic and well-coached teams we’ve played all season and we’re happy to get a point and move on to our next game,” Neal said to elonphoenix.com after the game.

After gaining the four points Neal desired with a win and a draw, the Phoenix still sit in fifth place in the Southern Conference standings. With a loss and a draw on the weekend, Davidson drops from fourth to sixth in the standings while Furman jumps to fourth with wins over UNCG and Appalachian State. The Phoenix has already topped Furman on the road this season, winning 2-1 on October 7.

“Normally, it’s an absolute dogfight,” Neal said.


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