ELON, N.C. – Looking to continue its unbeaten start to the season, the Elon University men’s soccer team welcomes fellow Triad rival High Point to Rudd Field for a Friday night battle on Sept. 8. The Phoenix and the Panthers are scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m.
Fans can follow the Phoenix throughout the match on Twitter at the program’s handle @ElonMensSoccer. Other scores and updates will also be provided at the handle @elonscores. The game will be streamed live for free through Elon’s Phoenix All-Access channel with Mason Stalp and Jenny Berman on the call.
Elon and High Point have a long history dating back to the first year of soccer for the maroon and gold in 1972. The longtime Triad rivals have played each other on an annual basis save for the 2015 season and were once conference rivals from 1999 to 2002 in the Big South. The Panthers hold the upper hand in the all-time series, 28-11-12, but the Phoenix has remained unbeaten in four of the last five games including a pair of victories. Elon first-year head coach Marc Reeves has an all-time record of 3-4-2 against HPU from his time as the head coach at Radford from 2010-2016.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix remained unbeaten in 2017 after earning a 2-0 victory over Presbyterian in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 2. The win was the third straight shutout for the maroon and gold, tying its longest clean sheet streak to open the season since 2015. Junior Jaiden Fortune and sophomore Mikey Thomas both tallied the scores for the Phoenix, the first of the season for both with Thomas’ feat being his first collegiate goal.
Mleczkovicz Named CAA Rookie of the Week
Elon freshman Ronni Mleczkovicz was honored as the Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Week on Monday, Sept. 4, for his performance on Saturday against the Blue Hose. Making his collegiate debut, the Gothenburg, Sweden, native had two assists in only 21 minutes of action and had Elon’s first multi-assist game since Amir Berkane did so versus William & Mary last season on Oct. 12.
About Elon (2-0-1)
Through 290 minutes of action this season, the maroon and gold has yet to concede a goal and held Presbyterian to its lowest shot total for an opponent this at four. The Elon opposition is averaging just under 10 shots per game with six total coming on goal at a .207 percentage.
Elon’s offense came alive with its first multi-goal match of the season against the Blue Hose. The Phoenix is still only averaging less than 10 shots per match (8.7) after getting off eight against Presbyterian on Saturday. Nine total shots have come on target for the maroon and gold with a shot percentage just shy of 35 percent. Fortune and Elijah Agu are tied for the team-lead with three points with both players attributing a goal and an assist to their stat lines.
Saturday’s clean sheet was the 28th for the Phoenix over the past three-plus seasons. Keeper Matthew Jegier picked up career shutout No. 19 against the Blue Hose, moving him into a tie for third all-time in school history with Kip Rackley (1984-87).
Scouting High Point (2-1)
High Point enters Friday’s match with a 2-1 record on the young season. The Panthers lone loss came in their recent match at Duke last Friday, Sept. 1, in the form a 3-2 defeat in overtime. Prior to that loss, HPU had earned victories versus Howard (1-0) and at UNCG (2-1) to open the 2017 campaign. High Point was tabbed to finish second in the 2017 Big South Preseason poll after coming off a 11-4-4 mark in 2016 including a 5-1-2 ledger in conference play under third-year head coach EJ O’Keeffe.
HPU returned 18 letterwinners from last year’s squad including junior defender Johnny Fenwick, who was tabbed as the 2017 Big South co-Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, and defending Big South Freshman of the Year Siggi Benonysson, who was the runner-up in the Preseason Attacking Player of the Year voting. Benonysson was also named to the 2017 Men’s Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List.
The Panthers are averaging 1.67 goals per match through its three games and 12.3 shots per game. Four different players have tallied a goal so far this season for High Point with 12 players attempting at least one shot this season. Defensively, the Panthers’ opponents are averaging 12.3 shot per match and have 14 shots on goal. Keegan Meyer has played every minute in goal this season and has a GAA of 1.31 with nine saves.
The Phoenix heads to Charlotte for an early week match next Tuesday, Sept. 12. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.