The Elon University women’s soccer team lost to in-state rivals the University of North Carolina at Wilmington 2-0 on Sunday, Oct. 5. Two second-half goals from freshman forward Serenity Waters handed Elon their fourth straight loss.
Senior goalkeeper and senior reporter for The Pendulum Kate Murphy was called into action in the early going of the first half. UNCW junior midfielder Lindsey Byrne got off the first shot of the match in the ninth minute, but her effort was snagged by Murphy, who was making her second straight start.
Freshman forward Susannah Anderson gave the Phoenix its first attempt on goal soon after in the 13th minute. Anderson couldn’t keep her shot down as the ball sailed over the crossbar.
Senior forward Raychel Diver managed Elon’s only shot on target during the first half in the 33rd minute, but her attempt was handled by sophomore goalkeeper Liisa Rahkola.
Sophomore midfielder Moa Jarl nearly gave the Seahawks the lead right before halftime. The Swede got her head on a cross, couldn’t steer the ball inside the post.
Anderson could have put the Phoenix in front in the 47th minute. Sophomore defender Erin Tanhauser’s corner was headed on by Anderson, but was saved by Rahkola.
The missed chance proved costly as UNCW took the lead shortly after at the 51:49 mark. Waters slipped through the Elon defense and chipped Murphy from 15 yards out for her fifth goal of the season.
Less than 30 seconds later, Anderson missed a chance to equalize as she was once again denied by Rahkola.
Waters would then grab her second of the afternoon at the 66:23 mark. The freshman received a pass from sophomore forward Kennedy Ulrich, created space for herself and fired home a shot inside the post.
Sophomore midfielder Kathryn Black came close to getting a goal back for the Phoenix in the 72nd minute. The Asheville native’s shot was kept out by Rahkola for one of her seven saves on the afternoon. Junior defender Mel Insley had a chance of her own three minutes later, but Rahkola once again was equal to the task.
Elon desperately looked to get back into the match with five shots in the final seven minutes. Elon’s final attempt of the day came off the head of junior midfielder Samantha Burch. Freshman defender Kendall Ballotti whipped in a corner that was headed over the bar by Burch with 18 seconds remaining.
With the win UNCW picks up its first Colonial Athletic Association victory of the year. With the loss, Elon falls to 0-4 in the league.
The Phoenix will return home on Friday, Oct. 10 to host Drexel University at 7 p.m. at Rudd Field.