2010 Schedule Released

Posted in News on June 18, 2010 by elonmenssoccer

From ElonPhoenix.com

ELON, N.C. – The Elon men’s soccer squad will face another demanding schedule in 2010, highlighted by matches against four NCAA Tournament participants including a home contest against 2010 College Cup competitor Wake Forest. The Phoenix will also host the Elon Classic to kick off its home season, welcoming Richmond, Jacksonville and UNC Greensboro to campus on September 10.

“We feel we have put together another strong schedule that allows our team to compete against some of the top teams in the country outside of the Southern Conference where all the games will be very tight,” Powell explained. “We hope these games will prepare us for what we think we will be a very tough, competitive league again this year.”

The Phoenix will play two road exhibition games, beginning at Campbell on August 21 and then meeting defending Big South champion Winthrop on August 28. Elon will begin its regular-season at High Point on September 1 and then travel to the Queen City to battle NCAA Tourney participant Charlotte on September 4.

The Elon Classic takes place on September 10 and 12 at Rudd Field with the Phoenix challenging Richmond on Friday and Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon. Following bouts at Old Dominion (September 17) and against Coastal Carolina (September 19), Elon will begin SoCon play at Davidson on September 25, looking for continued success after a 2-1 overtime victory against the Wildcats last season.

Elon will take on the first of three Atlantic Coast Conference opponents in Duke when the Blue Devils come to town on September 28. Duke advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last year before falling to Wake Forest.

A match at local league rival UNC Greensboro begins the month of October, before West Virginia (October 6) and College of Charleston (October 9) visit Elon. The Phoenix will aim for back-to-back wins over the Clemson Tigers when it visits historic Riggs Field on October 12.

In a rematch of the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament championship game, Elon will look to avenge last year’s loss when the Wofford Terriers come to town on October 16. After conference matches against Furman and Appalachian State, the Phoenix welcomes Wake Forest to Rhodes Stadium on October 26 for the annual Jimmy V Foundation game to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

The Phoenix closes out conference play at Georgia Southern on October 29 prior to its final regular-season match against Radford at Rudd Field.

The Southern Conference Tournament returns to an eight-team field in 2010 with the quarterfinal matches being played at campus sites on November 6. The semifinals and championship matches will be held at Patriot’s Point in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. from November 12-14.

Elon Men’s Soccer Fall 2010 Schedule

Coach Powell Reflects on the Spring and Looks Forward to the Summer

Posted in News on May 18, 2010 by elonmenssoccer

From elonphoenix.com-  

DP: Overall we put together some solid spring performances. We suffered only one loss to a professional team and all of the other contests were tight matches. We felt that the team progressed throughout the spring and grew in confidence. With a lot of new faces on the field, it was very positive for us to see the players working hard and competing for places on the field.  

Our defense was made up of several new faces, however we also had some familiarity with Jahan Threeths and Austen King. Both stepped in to play major rolls in the back four. Red-shirt freshman Nick Butterly also gained valuable minutes at center back. In the midfield, we had the steady play of Brad Franks and James Carroll. On the attack, the Phoenix combined for some good goals this spring. Freshman of the year Chris Thomas was in good scoring form. We improved throughout the spring as we tried different attacking combinations that included Chris, Stephen Dilger, Archie Karpeh, Denzel Ogunyase and Gabe Latigue.

Our rising group of seniors — Clint Irwin, Ben Lunka, Hunter Miller, Brad Franks, Greg Mader and Stephen Dilger — contributed well this spring and has high hopes of leading this team to a successful season.

Spring training is such an important part of what we do. Among competition dates, the team trains three mornings a week on the field in addition to weight training. We also play in seven Elon Champions League games, which are essentially maroon and white scrimmages. The teams are different for every game and individuals are awarded points based on wins and losses. It is a great evaluation tool for the coaches.

The spring season also provides an opportunity to work on techniques and get in the right physical shape for the fall. In the spring, everyone has the opportunity to play and as coaches we are able to do more teaching because time is not being spent on preparing for games or an opposition.

We are currently in our fitness test phase, which signals the end of spring training. We will put together their individual conditioning programs for summer. The players will compete in various summer soccer leagues to prepare for preseason camp. Based on when and where they play in the summer, we work with each of them so they are where they need to be come August.

Spring ‘Showers’ Hope to Bring Fall ‘Flowers’ for Phoenix

Posted in News on May 13, 2010 by elonmenssoccer

The Elon men’s soccer blog apologizes for going into a bit of an academic coma during the spring…While the blog has been in hibernation, the Phoenix continue to put in the work to bring some “silverware” back to Elon in the fall.

The spring “friendlies” season recently finished up, with the Phoenix finishing with a record of 4-1-4, including a 2-0 win over NC State. Their only loss came at the hands of the Carolina RailHawks, a professional team, by a score of 3-2. Elon wrapped up the spring with a doubleheader of 60 min games against Belmont Abbey and Liberty; both matches ended in 1-1 draws.

Having already bid the 8 seniors from the 2009 squad farewell, the team also had to say goodbye to two members of its coaching staff…

Associate head coach Jason O’Keefe accepted an offer to join head coach Mike McGinty’s staff at St. Louis University, and goalkeeper coach Joe Crump has decided to join Rob Donnenwirth’s staff as an assistant coach for the East Carolina University women’s team. Both O’Keefe and Crump gave 3 seasons of outstanding service to the Phoenix program. The team compiled a 28-24-7 record during that time, including a SoCon regular season championship in 2008.  

“Jason did a great job during his three years here at Elon,” stated Elon head coach Darren Powell. “He was instrumental in moving the program forward and capturing the 2008 Southern Conference crown. I will miss Jason, not only as a coach and mentor to our players, but also as a personal friend. We wish him and Coach Mike McGinty nothing but the best at St. Louis. I am confident Jason will have plenty of success in his new venture.”

In each of Crump’s three years at Elon, at least one goalkeeper was honored with All-Southern Conference accolades. In 2007, true freshman Clint Irwin claimed all-league honors and Phoenix keepers combined to help lead the team to a school-record four consecutive shutouts. A year later, Irwin and senior Kyle Boerner were both named to the all-conference teams. It was the first time in SoCon history that two goalies from one school earned all-conference honors the same season. Irwin had a 0.90 goals-against average and stopped 31 shots while Boerner recorded a .742 save percentage. This past season, he  guided Irwin to a First-Team All-Southern Conference selection, as Irwin and the team collected 10 shutouts during the season, tying the school record set by the 1987 and 1988 squads. Irwin also moved into a tie for first place on the Elon career ledger with 19 clean sheets to his credit.

Having had the privilege of working with these two outstanding coaches, the blog will miss having Coach Crump and Coach O’Keefe around on both a personal and professional level. On behalf  of the Elon men’s soccer team, the blog wishes them nothing but the best in their new endeavours.

The search has already begun to fill the void. In fact, the new assistant coach could be officially named very soon…stay tuned.  

(Some information courtesy elonphoenix.com and ecupirates.com)

Chicago Fire Select Kinney in MLS Superdraft

Posted in News with tags , , on January 15, 2010 by elonmenssoccer

ELON, N.C. –After performing well at the 2010 adidas Major League Soccer Player Combine, Elon defender Steven Kinney became the first player in program history to be drafted into the MLS. With the 45th pick of the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the Chicago Fire selected Kinney on Thursday.

“This is a great honor to go on to the next step,” Kinney commented. “The combine was one step, this is the next step and now I have to go to preseason camp and perform. I feel that Elon and Coach Powell definitely prepared me for this next experience. I think Coach has given me the keys to be successful at the next level and I am confident in my ability.”

Kinney, who completed his degree in December, has been one of the most impressive players to ever wear the maroon and gold. The four-year starter was a three-time first-team All-Southern Conference selection during his time on the Elon back line. Kinney helped the Phoenix record 28 shutouts over four seasons, including a school-record tying 10 in 2009. The native of Norcross, Ga., was honored as one of the 30 finalists for the Lowes Senior CLASS award as a senior, while leading Elon to its first-ever appearance in the league tournament championship game. Kinney was also the first Phoenix men’s soccer player to earn Academic All-America status, being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America third team in November.

Said Powell, “We are very excited for Steven to get drafted in the MLS and this is also great news for our program. We are pleased that Steven will get to pursue his professional ambitions with the Chicago Fire and the soccer staff, our team and I wish him the best of luck in the future.”

The co-captain netted eight goals and assisted on two others during his Elon career. Kinney was instrumental in Elon’s unbeaten conference slate in 2008 as the Phoenix won its first SoCon regular-season title.

At the combine, Kinney started at center back and played the full 90 minutes in the first game, scoring the team’s game-winning goal after he held off his defender and put home a diving header off a free kick en route to Condivo’s 4-1 victory over F50i.

In game two, Condivo posted a 2-1 win over Predator X. Kinney competed at the right back position during the second half of action. In the final game, Condivo defeated Jabulani, 1-0, as Kinney moved back to his natural center back position.

Kinney, the lone Southern Conference player drafted this year, will report to Chicago’s training camp at the end of January.

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com)

“From the Ashes” Interview with Senior Clint Collins

Posted in News on January 6, 2010 by elonmenssoccer

Elon’s Shelby McKay sat down with senior men’s soccer player Clint Collins in November to discuss the team, and what his future holds.

SM: This senior class had made many Elon soccer “firsts.” Talk about the success of the program during your four years.

CC: One of the big things that I think about is my first year here. It was an up and coming program with a new head coach and new players. My class had eight guys come in, which is the most for any class, I think. To see where we are now, having won a SoCon Championship, to be competing with teams on a national level every time we go out. It’s really exciting. I’d like to think the team is a little bit better, and we’ve left it a little bit better than when we came in.

SM: It seems as though UNCG always pops up at the end of the regular-season schedule for a very meaningful game. Talk about how important the win was last weekend and do you feel as though there is a big rivalry building between Elon and UNCG?

CC: It’s always great to beat them. They’re our local rivals, the closet team we play every year geographically. So, a lot of us know a lot of guys on that team. We played with and against them growing up. We played on summer teams with them each summer. So, we’re good friends with them off the field. They are all good guys, but you know the second you step onto the field, it’s a different story. It’s great to play them and I would say we have a pretty good rivalry. Since I’ve been here I think we’ve lost to them twice and beat them twice. It’s been pretty close. We’ve had some good games, some close games. You know it’s always going to be a tough game; whether one team hasn’t won a game all season or not. You know it’s going to be a hard fought game. It was good to beat them this year. Unless we play them in the tournament this weekend that could be the last time I get to play against them. And it was nice to get a win in front of a good crowd.

SM: Defenders don’t often get enough credit for the work they do. You are part of an impressive, experienced back line that has nine shutouts this year. Tell me a bit about why you are so successful and who, if anyone, is the leader that makes everyone gel.

CC: Being a defender, you realize that it’s something you can’t do by yourself. Just on our team we have four out-and-out defenders, but it really takes an entire team to defend and get a shutout; get a zero on the scoreboard for the other team at the end of the game. I would say it’s something that you have to learn and you definitely get better at it over the four years just working together with the three other guys in the back line and the goalkeeper. You have to have a good relationship with them and be able communicate, play together and be connected throughout the game. As far as a leader in the back four, I think without a doubt it is Steven Kinney, our other senior captain, number 18. He’s been the rock in the back since we got here as freshmen. He’s got the most experience on the back line. He really takes control of the game and makes everyone else around him better. It has been a privilege to play with him. I’ve gotten to play with him since we were 15. I’ve gotten a lot of experience and a lot better just playing with him.

SM: This year’s freshman class has already made an impact. Tell me a little bit about this group and how you, as a senior, try to get them ready for the transition to college soccer.

CC: I’ve been really impressed with our freshmen class this season. I think all of them are going to be good players. Some of them haven’t gotten the chance to play mainly because we have so many older players — our senior class is very strong. They have a good work ethic. They come to play every time whether it’s practice or a game. And that’s what we really try to pass on to the new kids every year. College soccer is different than anything. College sports in general are different than anything anyone has ever experienced. You have to pick up your game to a different level every time you’re on the field and you really have to push yourself as hard as you can. And that’s something that is hard to adjust to right away when you come to college and Elon and play for the men’s soccer team here. You need that adjustment time. A couple of them jumped right into their roles and are playing really well. They are going to play a big part in this weekend as well, trying to get a championship and a NCAA berth. I just hope we can pass on what we all as a senior class have taken in since we’ve been here. And three years down the line those guys can pass that on to the next freshman class.

SM: If you were being recruited by Elon right now to come play soccer, what would be the biggest draw to joining this program?

CC: The team camaraderie. We really have a good sense of a team mentality. All of us on the team are best friends. There are no cliques or groups, which is something I’ve never experienced before in any organization or team. I notice that a lot of recruits see that and that they are impressed. It’s really 28 best friends, you can’t find that anywhere else.

SM: Give us a little insight into Coach Powell. What is it like to play for him and how does he motivate this group?

CC: Darren Powell. He’s not like any other coach I’ve met before, that’s for sure. He’s a good motivator, very organized coach, always has everything scheduled down to a T pretty much. Whether it’s warming up at practice or our road trips. He’s one of the best soccer coaches, soccer brains that I’ve ever come across before. He really knows what he’s talking about, and really wants to make you a better player when you are here. I think a lot of college coaches, from what I’ve heard from my friends at other colleges, recruit good players and put them on the field together and don’t really do much. Some of these players I know are not getting much better in their four years of college soccer. I think everyone on this team has grown as a player exponentially. Being around him makes you a better person, a better player.

SM: Is he a big reason as to why you came to Elon?

CC: He is pretty much the reason why I came here. I had a good connection with him. He really showed me that I was wanted here as a player. A lot of other coaches have their own ways of recruiting and players they want they might not show the interest in the way that Darren does. He makes you feel like you are really wanted on the team. He tells you it straight. He tells you what the plans are, how he expects your future as a player to be and what the future of the team will be. When he was recruiting me I caught on to that right away. I got attached to him in that way. At that point, there weren’t really any other options after I started talking to Darren and came up here and saw the school.

SM: Not all soccer teams at this level play a schedule like you all played this year. You played four ACC opponents, including three that were ranked in the top six when you played them. Talk about any advantages there are to playing such strong schedule.

CC: I think a lot of people might think that you are making your year and your schedule a lot tougher than it needs to be; they think you could have more wins at the end of the season if you played some easier teams. I don’t see it that way. I see it as we played against teams that are nationally ranked. We’ve played against the number one, two and three ranked teams as well as many top-ten teams since I’ve been here. I think you can only get better by playing against them. Those are the best teams, best players in the country as voted on by coaches. There’s no doubt that those are the best teams and best players in the country. And if you match yourself up against those teams and players week in and week out, you can only get better. At the same time, it is going to strengthen you to be a better team at the end of the year when you need to be. For example, this weekend at the SoCon Tournament, we are going to play against CofC and potentially UNCG. We hope that teams like UNC, Wake Forest and Duke are going to help set us up at the end of the year and really challenge us and push us for the NCAA Tournament where we might see those teams again.

SM: So, you would say these teams have a large impact on preparing for the SoCon tournament?

CC: Definitely. Your league games are always important; you want to win those because those are the ones that will potentially get you into the tournament later on. But playing against those teams can only make you better. I think a lot of people overlook that aspect, but we definitely don’t because we make our schedule hard.

SM: Is there anything different you do to prepare for a tournament game compared to a regular-season game?

I think a team does. You need to have that mentality and a little more motivation because this could be it for the season or our careers. If that doesn’t motivate you enough to play then you are probably in the wrong sport. It is win or go home. We need to have all the kinks worked out. You prepare a little differently for an elimination game compared to a league game where you have seven games to the championship. Now it is if you lose you’re out. So you do prepare differently, mostly mentally. We try to keep our same routines in practice and travel.

SM: Not that the season is anywhere close to over…but come January, have you thought much about your plans for life after college soccer?

CC: After soccer, I’m planning on getting ready for the real world. I’ll be hanging around school for a little while and finish up my double major and hopefully get a good job. I’m going to miss soccer a lot and playing competitively like I have been. I can’t say I will give up soccer completely. I’m just going to try and stay in shape since I don’t have a regular routine of exercise. Get into the workout routine, go to the weight room with everyone else. I guess just adjusting to life as a non-student athlete. It’s kind of weird to think about. I’m kind of scared. Hopefully I can handle it.

(Courtesy: From The Ashes Blog)

Kinney and Irwin Named to Scholar All-America Teams

Posted in News on January 6, 2010 by elonmenssoccer

ELON, N.C. – Elon men’s soccer stars Steven Kinney and Clint Irwin added to their lengthy list of achievements, recently being named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-America second team. The two were also recognized on the 2009 NSCAA Scholar All-South Region first team. Kinney, a defender, and Irwin, the Phoenix keeper, led Elon to its first-ever appearance in the Southern Conference Tournament championship game in November.

Holding a 3.7 GPA as an accounting major, Kinney completed his degree in December and was invited to the Major League Soccer Player Combine to be held in January. During his four years in the Elon uniform, Kinney helped the squad to 28 shutout performances. The Norcross, Ga., native was recognized first-team all-conference for three consecutive years and was also a three-time second-team NSCAA All-South Region selection. Kinney has been a part of the NSCAA Scholar Region and All-America teams for each of the last two years. In 2009, he became the first-ever Elon men’s soccer player to be named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America third team. 

After three years in the maroon and gold uniform, Irwin already holds the top spot on Elon’s career shutout list. With a 2-0 shutout over College of Charleston in the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament, Irwin moved into a tie for first place with 19 career clean slates. Irwin and the Phoenix recorded 10 shutouts in 2009, the most by any league team. His 0.88 GAA was also tops in the SoCon and ranked 44th in the country. The keeper was named first-team All-Southern Conference and first-team NSCAA All-South Region. Irwin holds a 3.37 GPA as political science major. 

(Courtesy elonphoenix.com)

1st Day of Winter Conditioning

Posted in 2010 Winter Conditioning on January 6, 2010 by elonmenssoccer

Team began our 2010 Journey today in the fridge cold.  The team ran a 6 minute test.  All the times were good. Then the team did 45 minutes of technical work.  They worked hard, the focus was right and they finished strong which will be a theme for the year!  We look forward to working throughout the Winter & Spring terms.

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