On Senior Day at Rudd Field, it was the youngsters that shined for the Elon University women’s soccer team in a 2-0 win over the College of Charleston. Sophomore Susannah and freshman Tori Baliatico scored within three minutes of each other, giving the Phoenix its first conference win this season.
Neither Anderson nor Baliatico started on the hot afternoon, something that coach Chris Neal made note of.
“We were really able to go deep today off our bench,” he said. “On a hot day like today, with a Sunday grind less than 48 hours after Friday night’s game — I was really impressed with how the substitutes played in the second half.”
After 80 minutes of balanced play without much to note, Elon (9-3-2, 1-2-1 CAA) secured a corner kick opportunity. Amanda Lasater booted a perfect cross in to Anderson, who headed it past the wall of Cougars (8-7, 2-4 CAA) to give the Phoenix its first goal.
Just two minutes later, Baliatico sprinted under a long ball and had a beautiful touch past Cougar goalkeeper Genevieve Henderson, slotting her shot into the empty net to finish the spurt for Elon.
“I get nervous whenever I get in these situations,” Baliatico said. “I don’t want to miss the ball or the goal. When I kicked it, at first I thought, ‘Wow, I kicked it too hard, it’s going to hit the crossbar or go over.’ But once it went in, I got up and celebrated.”
After the game, Coach Neal reiterated that he’s been telling Baliatico to use her athleticism to make an impact.
“But with her level of speed — that’s a kid that finished top-10 in the country in 400-meter hurdles coming out of high school — if she’s aggressive and reads the play a little bit, she gets the jump on players, she can use her pace and athleticism to do a lot of damage,” Neal said. “That was electric, that goal.”
The Phoenix heads north for a four-game road trip, starting at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the University of Delaware.