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

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)

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