The Elon University women’s soccer team lost its third straight match on Sunday, Aug. 31, falling to No. 11 West Virginia University 2-0.

A first half penalty kick from senior midfielder Jess Crowder and a second half finish from senior forward Kate Schwindel was enough to sink the Phoenix. WVU WSOC

The Mountaineers pressured the Phoenix throughout the first half, with Elon defending for the majority of the opening 45 minutes. Neither side was overly aggressive for the opening five minutes of play with both teams feeling one another out. West Virginia managed its first shot of the match nearly six minutes in through junior midfielder Amanda Hill. But her effort went wide of the Elon goal.

Junior forward Kelsie Maloney nearly put the Mountaineers ahead at the 10:14 mark, but her shot was kept out by the post. Maloney managed to win the ball back, but was once again denied a goal as the Phoenix defense was able to block the shot.

West Virginia was denied by the woodwork once again. After earning a long free-kick, junior defender Carli Price got her head on the end of the ball, but couldn’t steer the ball inside of the post.

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West Virginia continued to get off shot after shot on the Phoenix goal, but the back line and junior goalkeeper Sydney Branson held firm in the opening period.

Despite being completely outplayed, the Phoenix was a minute away from a going into halftime level tied at zero. But West Virginia finally got its breakthrough. Freshman forward Toryn Broadwater was hauled down in the box setting up Crowder’s penalty goal at the 44:18 mark.

HPU WSOCElon got its first shot of the match seven minutes into the second half. A West Virginia foul set up an opportunity for free-kick specialist and Elon junior Mel Insley. Insley’s effort was wide of goal as Elon continued to look for an equalizer.

The Mountaineers padded their lead with a second goal thanks to a nice finish from Schwindel. The senior was able to get on the end of a cross from junior forward Kailey Utley and slot home her third goal of the season.

With the win, West Virginia improves to 2-2 on the year. The loss drops the Phoenix to 1-3.

Elon will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 5 for the middle game of a three game road trip. The Phoenix will travel to take on in-state foe High Point University. The match is scheduled at 7 p.m.  at Vert Stadium.

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