Despite a strong push in the closing minutes, the Elon University women’s soccer team was unable to score a game-tying goal against the University of North Carolina Greensboro Spartans on Aug. 22, 2021, losing the game 1-0.

The Phoenix fired four shots, two of which were on goal, in the game’s final 10 minutes, but could not convert to force extra time. 

The Phoenix outshot the Spartans 17-10 and had 10 corner kick opportunities, but were unable to find the back of the net. While the team generated some good offensive chances, Head Coach Neil Payne said they need to do a better job of capitalizing on them. 

“There’s no question we’ve gotta be more ruthless in front of goal,” Payne said. “We’re still a little impatient at times in key moments of the game, so we’ll reflect on that and we’ll dissect tonight’s game and work on fixing that for sure. There’s lots of really, really good things, but we’ve got to clean some things up.” 

The contest was especially physical, with the Phoenix taking 17 total fouls. Additionally, four yellow cards were given, two on each team. 

In a losing effort, Elon University junior, midfielder and team captain Abby Fusca had a great game, using her speed and agility to push the ball through the middle of the field on multiple occasions to create scoring opportunities for her teammates.

“She was outstanding yet again. She epitomizes everything a captain should be and she separates herself because of her work rate,” Payne said. 

The loss drops the Phoenix to 1-1 on the season and just 1-20-3 all time against the Spartans. 

The Phoenix will travel to Blacksburg to face off against Virginia Tech for their first road match of the season on Aug. 26. 

“We’ll go into Thursday’s game with lots of good things happening,” Payne said. “We’ll roll our sleeves up and get to work and clean up the areas we need to work on.” 

Payne declined to have players comment to Elon News Network.