Philadelphia, PA — After its historic run to its first NCAA Tournament since 1999 earlier this year, Elon University’s women’s soccer team will miss out on the postseason. Despite a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Drexel University Dragons in its final match of the regular season, the Phoenix failed to qualify for the CAA Tournament.
Senior midfielder Abby Fusca scored in the 97th minute to win the match for Elon. However, because of a game nearly 300 miles away in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Phoenix’s postseason hopes had already disappeared minutes before Fusca’s goal.
While Elon was beginning its overtime period against Drexel, the Northeastern University Huskies wrapped up a 1-0 win at William & Mary to clinch the fourth and final spot in the CAA tournament and officially eliminate the Phoenix from postseason contention.
The Phoenix entered the day in fifth place in the CAA standings, needing a victory against the Dragons and a loss by Northeastern to qualify for the conference tournament. While Elon did what it needed to do against Drexel, it was ultimately too little, too late.
Senior forward Carson Jones scored in the 10th minute to put the Phoenix on the board. Elon held a 1-0 lead at halftime, but a handball in the six-yard box by senior defender Samantha Dominguez in the 70th minute awarded Drexel with a penalty kick. The Dragons converted the opportunity to tie the match at 1-1.
The Phoenix outshot the Dragons 15-10, with four of those shots coming from Fusca, whose overtime goal was her first of the season. This was the third time in the last five matches that the Phoenix won in overtime.
Elon finishes its season with an overall record of 9-6-2, including a 4-3-2 record in CAA matches. With 14 points, the Phoenix will finish fifth in the CAA standings, just one point short of qualifying for the conference tournament. This is the sixth time in eight seasons since joining the CAA in 2014 that Elon has missed out on the conference tournament.
Despite the Phoenix not being in the tournament, Elon University will host the CAA Tournament this week at Rudd Field, with semifinal matches on Thursday and the championship match on Sunday. The winner of the championship match will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.