ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s soccer team plays in its first ever Southern Conference Championship title match on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m., as the second-seeded Phoenix takes on top-seeded Furman at Snyder Field in Spartanburg, S.C. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.
ELON VS. FURMAN: Sunday marks the 16th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Paladins. Furman leads the series, 10-4-1, but Elon has won three of the last four meetings. Earlier this season on Oct. 13, Elon handed Furman its only league loss of the season at Rudd Field, claiming a 4-3 win. Kelly Siewers scored the game-winner in the 88th minute, her second of the game, after taking a Sarah Henson pass inside the box near the right post and ripping it into the back of the net for the goal. The win snapped Furman’s 10-match unbeaten streak.
LOOKING BACK: Catherine Brinkman’s goal 54th minute helped the Phoenix to a 1-0 win over Wofford in the Southern Conference Championship semifinals on Friday night, Nov. 8. Brinkman’s strike from about 25 yards out hovered into the upper-right corner of the goal for the score, giving Elon a lead it would not relinquish. Keepers Sydney Branson and Kate Murphy split time between the posts in the shutout, with Murphy making the lone save on the night.
WITH A WIN: With a win over Furman on Sunday, Elon would earn its second automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Elon’s lone appearance in the NCAA Tournament came during the 1999 season, as the Phoenix won the Big South Tournament title with a 3-2 overtime win over Liberty. Elon advanced to play 22nd-ranked Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Durham, N.C., dropping a 3-1 decision to the nationally ranked Blue Devils.
HEAD COACH CHRIS NEAL: Chris Neal is in his sixth season as the Elon head women’s soccer coach. Last year’s Southern Conference Coach of the Year, Neal enters Sunday’s title match with a career record of 60-31-21.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Elon entered this week ranked sixth in the nation in goals scored at 2.70 goals per game. Elon has not been shut out in a game this season, marking the first time in program history the Phoenix went the entire regular season with a goal in every match.
DENNION NAMED SOCON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sophomore forward Nicole Dennion was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Dennion leads the SoCon in goals (15) and is second in points (35). Dennion’s 15 goals are the most in program history at the Division I level and are tied for the eighth most in a single season all time. Dennion is tied for 17th nationally in total goals this season.
FIVE PHOENIX PLAYERS HONORED: In addition to Dennion earning SoCon Player of the Year and first-team all-league honors, Elon’s Olivia Mackey (first team), Kimmie Krauss (second team), Chelsey Stark (second team) and Erin Tanhauser (All-Freshman) all picked up all-conference accolades.
GOING STREAKING: Elon finished the 2013 season unbeaten at home at 7-0-3. The Phoenix is unbeaten in its last 10 matches dating back to Oct. 6.