The Elon University women’s soccer team found sweet revenge Sunday against the College of Charleston, beating the Cougars 2-0 on Rudd Field after losing both matches last season against the Cougars, one being in the first round of the Southern Conference tournament.
“I just feel really great about our team today,” said Elon head coach Chris Neal. “They refused to be outworked and our equation was very simple today: don’t be outworked and try and play the game as much as possible in their half and we accomplished that. We had some real good performances so I’m really happy for them.”
The Phoenix struck early in the tenth minute when freshman midfielder Taylor Glenn found herself wide open in the middle of the penalty area and on the receiving end of junior forward Chelsey Stark’s cross. Glenn calmly one-timed the cross past the diving glove of Charleston goalkeeper Eli Sarasola. The goal was Glenn’s first goal in maroon and gold.
“(The goal) was definitely coming,” Glenn said. “I just needed to relax and finish one and now I feel like, for the rest of the season, I’ll have more composure and be able to finish more.”
The Phoenix got an insurance goal from Stark in the 61st minute after a sequence that involved a penalty kick from senior Jaclyn Wood that rang off the right post and a corner kick that found the foot of sophomore Raychel Diver five yards from the goal. Sarasola blocked Diver’s shot, but Stark put the rebound top shelf for her first goal of the season.
The Cougars mounted an 88th minute attack on the Elon goal that saw multiple shots on goal, but sophomore goalkeeper Kate Murphy and the defense stood strong to preserve Elon’s third clean sheet of the season.
“We’re finally finding ourselves as a team and it was great to get some goals and obviously keep it out of the back of the net,” Murphy said. “It feels good to get this win.”
The Phoenix had 30 shots this weekend, 20 of them coming in Friday’s 1-1 draw with The Citadel. Scoring chances have been something Elon has had trouble manufacturing to this point of the season.
“A lot of these chances have to do with having more substitutes now,” Neal said. “It just opens up the field more for us, and because we have subs now, we don’t have to try and keep the ball to avoid having to defend all the time. We can play a little bit more with an up-tempo game.”
The Phoenix will return to action Friday, Oct. 5 against Wofford College. The Phoenix beat the Terriers last season 2-1 thanks to two second half goals from then-freshman Kim Gardner.
· At halftime, Murphy was forced to change her jersey because both goalkeepers were wearing orange. Murphy changed to blue. What also changed was her headband, going from orange to matching blue. “Orange clashes with the blue. You still have to look good out there,” Murphy said after the game.
· Caroline O’Dee received a yellow card for a challenge in the 70th minute. It was the first yellow card of the season for the Phoenix. What happened as an encore? Neal got a yellow card for arguing in the 87th minute.
· Elon used eight different players off the bench today, the most in any game this year for the Phoenix.