The Elon University women’s soccer team closed out its weekend trip to Wilmington by defeating Francis Marion University 3-1 on Sunday, Sept. 14.
Three unanswered goals from an own goal, freshman forward Grace Bennett, and freshman defender Kendall Ballotti canceled out junior forward Elizabeth Asare’s opener for the Patriots.
The Phoenix almost scored right from the opening whistle. Senior forward Raychel Diver got off a shot just 16 seconds into the match, but effort was stopped by Francis Marion sophomore goalkeeper Taylor O’Berry.
In the seventh minute, Elon freshman forward Susannah Anderson hit the post after getting on the end of a corner from sophomore defender Erin Tanhauser. Anderson tried again in the 10th minute, but O’Berry made the save.
Francis Marion went ahead against the run of play at the 17:27 mark. After a long throw-in from the right win, Asare was able to steer her header into the near post to give the Patriots the lead.
The Phoenix equalized almost immediately in the 21st minute. An Elon cross was redirected by a Francis Marion defender and ended up into the back of the net.
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Both sophomore forward Hannah Howard and freshman forward Sydney Schilling had chances to put Elon ahead going in the later portion of the first half, but both their efforts were off target.
Senior midfielder Bethany Houpt whipped in a corner kick to Ballotti, who then flicked the ball to Bennett who fired home her second goal of the season at the 56:30 mark.
Asare looked for her second goal of the afternoon in the 65th minute. The junior came close to equalizing, but her drifted wide right of the goal.
Elon went two ahead in the 79th minute. This time, Ballotti was the scorer rather than the provider. Houpt delivered another dangerous corner kick that found no one and bounced in the middle of the box. Ballotti reacted first and headed home her first-career goal.
Anderson almost gave Elon a three goal cushion in the 85th minute, but the Patriots’ defense blocked her effort.
With the victory, Elon improves to 3-4 on the year, while the loss drops Francis Marion to 0-5. Elon will return home on Friday, Sept. 19 to take on Gardner-Webb University. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Rudd Field.