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Elon University - Girls Soccer Camps
Elon University - Girls Soccer Camps

Elon Phoenix Girls Soccer Camps

Camp Staff

 

CHRIS NEAL - Head Coach / Camp Director:

As the winningest coach in program history, head coach Chris Neal begins his 10th season at Elon and fourth season as part of a highly competitive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 2017. Under Neal’s guidance, the Phoenix has shown substantial improvement after three seasons as part of the CAA and has been a perennial conference contender since his arrival.

Neal’s impact on the program has been evident during his tenure at Elon both on the field and in the classroom, as Phoenix student-athletes have consistently earned numerous athletic and academic achievements.

Under Neal’s guidance, a total of 21 student-athletes have earned all-league honors over the last nine seasons, while Elon has earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award in nearly every season under Neal. In addition, a total of 35 players have been named to the conference’s All-Academic Teams since Neal’s arrival. Elon has posted a winning season in five of Neal’s nine seasons.

On August 19, 2016, Neal became the program's all-time winningest coach, earning his 75th victory at Elon in a 2-0 victory over Charleston Southern at Rudd Field. He currently has 81 wins in his coaching career at Elon as he surpassed Paul Webster's (1995-2003) 74 victories.

The Phoenix finished the 2016 campaign with a 7-9-3 overall mark against a difficult schedule which included three opponents that made the NCAA Championships and five that at least made the finals of their respective conference championships. The program continued its substantial improvement in the CAA, doubling their point total in conference play from 2015 and nearly tripling their total from the program's inaugural CAA season in 2014. Elon had three players receive CAA postseason honors, which included the program's first All-CAA First Team selection in junior center back Kendall Ballotti. Taylor Paradoski earned CAA All-Rookie Team honors, Neal's third consecutive All-Rookie Team selection, and senior Alexis de Groot earned a spot on the All-Academic team. The maroon and gold had two freshmen, goalkeeper Katelyn Fowler and Paradoski, earn conference Rookie of the Week awards.

The Phoenix improved its play defensively in 2016 forcing a total of six overtime games, including four during the conference season. Elon also posted three CAA shutouts, which ranked second in the league. In addition to strong play from the back line, Fowler finished second in the CAA in goals against average (0.78) in five games played.

During the 2015 season, which saw a conference record four CAA teams make the prestigious NCAA Tournament, the Phoenix showed significant improvement in Elon’s second season in the league. Elon finished with a 9-8-2 overall record after recording a 5-12 record overall in 2014. The 7-1-1 start to the 2015 season is the best start for the program in the Division I era for the first nine games of the season. The previous best record in the first nine games was a 6-1-2 start in 2013. The Phoenix had six wins in 2009 and 2010, starting those seasons with a 6-2-1 record in the first nine games. Elon's final national ranking in the Bennett Rankings increased by over 70 spots in comparison to the 2014 season and the team's RPI soared over 40 spots as well in 2015. Offensively, Elon scored 12 more goals, conceded 15 less goals, had a goal differential swing of 27 goals, and created 110 more shots created compared to the 2014 season.

Neal helped the maroon and gold to one of its best seasons in program history in 2013, as the Phoenix finished the year with a 13-3-6 record and its first ever appearance in the Southern Conference Championship match. Elon’s 13 wins marked the most during the school’s Division I era, while also marking the team’s fifth-straight winning season. The Phoenix also entered the NSCAA Southeast Regional rankings for the first time in school history, finishing the season ranked 10th among ACC powers such as Virginia, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech Notre Dame, Duke, Boston College, Wake Forest and Maryland. Elon scored in every contest in 2013, another program first, netting a total of 56 goals (third nationally) in 22 matches. Elon had five players garner all-league accolades, including 2013 Southern Conference Player of the Year, Nicole Dennion. As only a sophomore, Dennion set Elon’s Division I single-season goals record with 15.  Elon’s RPI soared as high as 74th (out of 327 teams) in 2013 as well. Elon’s senior class finished the 2013 season with 40 wins, the most by a senior class during Elon’s Division I era. Neal ended the year with a career record of 60-41-22.

Despite several key injuries throughout the season, Neal was named the 2012 Southern Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Phoenix to the Southern Conference Championship semifinals. Elon posted a total of eight shutouts in 2012, one shy of the program's record at the Division I level. Neal helped Shannon Foley earn All-SoCon honors her senior season as well. Under Neal, Elon had a total of six players earn SoCon All-Academic accolades in the fall.

Neal led the Phoenix to another successful season in 2011, as the team finished the regular season with a 6-3-2 record in Southern Conference action to mark Elon's third-straight winning season in the SoCon. The Phoenix finished the 2011 season with an RPI of 138 (out of 322 teams), placing Elon well into the top half of Division I. Since 2008, the program’s RPI has improved over 100 spots. Among the team’s wins was a 1-0 shutout over instate rival UNCG on Oct. 26 in Greensboro, marking the program’s first-ever win over the Spartans in 17 matches (0-16 in previous games). The Phoenix also scored a Southern Conference single-game-high eight goals on Sept. 26 against league-foe Chattanooga. Under Neal's tutelage, the Phoenix won several awards in 2011. Andrea Keller earned preseason all-conference honors and was a second-team all-conference selection at the end of the season with teammate Olivia Mackey. Bethany Houpt earned Southern Conference Player of the Week nods in 2011 after leading the Phoenix to a 2-0 win over High Point with a pair of goals.

In 2010, Neal led Elon to a 12-8-1 record, including a 6-5 record in league play, marking the first time the team has won 12 games and finished with a winning record in league play in back-to-back seasons since joining Division I. Elon’s 12 wins in 2010 set the school record for victories over NCAA Division I opponents, while the program’s RPI of 131 out of 322 teams has rose over 100 spots from three seasons prior. In addition, Neal coached Elon to its first-ever appearance in the Southern Conference Tournament in 2010, where the team went on the road in the first round and registered a 1-0 shutout over College of Charleston. Under Neal’s tutelage, Elon had two All-SoCon selections in 2010, as Brittany Hallberg earned second-team honors, while Chelsey Stark was named to the All-Freshman team. The Phoenix also performed well in the classroom, as the NSCAA named Elon one of 630 recipients of the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 2009-10 academic year. Elon was one of just 125 institutions nationally to have both its men's and women's programs earn the honor in 2010.

In Neal’s second season at the helm in 2009, the Phoenix went 12-5-2, setting a school record for the most wins since moving to the NCAA Division I ranks in 1999. Elon’s 7-3-1 SoCon mark was its best-ever league showing and its first winning record since joining the conference in 2003. After being picked to finish seventh in the SoCon in the preseason poll, the Phoenix played its final game of the regular season for the league crown. The squad also set a record with four all-conference selections, including the first-ever first-team All-SoCon pick. Elon’s national ranking (RPI) also continued to rise in 2009 as the Phoenix moved to 134th out of 322 teams, placing it in the top half of all NCAA Division I squads. The team received the NSCAA Silver Star ETHICS award for sportsmanship based upon yellow and red card accumulation. Elon received only four yellow cards and no red cards in 2009.

In Neal’s first season at Elon, the Phoenix posted an 8-8-3 mark, the team’s first .500 or better record since the 1999 season. Elon also earned its first-ever win against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent with a 1-0 road victory over Maryland. Elon’s end-of-season RPI experienced a significant leap as well, moving up 55 spots from the end of the 2007 season. The Phoenix also moved up in the highly competitive Southern Conference regular-season standings, earning a 7th place finish out of 12 teams. Three players were named to all-conference teams as well. Elon led the nation in least amount of yellow cards (3) and red cards (0), earning the NSCAA Silver Star ETHICS award. In addition, the team was touted for excellence in the classroom, receiving the NSCAA Team Academic award for carrying a team GPA of 3.0 or better.

Prior to arriving at Elon, Neal helped his alma mater, UNC Wilmington, to a record of 70-55-8 (.556) from 2001-07. Just as strong off the field, the Seahawks earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for five consecutive campaigns during Neal’s time with the program.

Before returning to his alma mater in 2001, Neal enjoyed a successful stint as the head men’s soccer coach at Pfeiffer University. In his three seasons at Pfeiffer (1998-2000), Neal directed the Falcons to a 36-22-4 (.613) ledger and their first-ever NCAA Division II ranking at 13th in the country.

Neal also served two campaigns as an assistant men’s soccer coach at Augusta State (1996-97), where he helped the Jaguars improve from a 7-8 record in 1996 to a 14-6 slate in 1997.

In addition to his responsibilities at Elon, Neal currently serves as an ODP staff coach and coaching education instructor for the NC Youth Soccer Association. Neal served the NSCAA as its state technical director from 2001-08. In these roles with NCYSA and the NSCA, Neal has been responsible for organizing, advertising and instructing a variety of coaching education courses for thousands of youth, high school and college coaches. Neal is a USSF April Heinrichs Scholarship recipient, recognizing him for making a positive impact on the sport of women’s soccer.

The UNCW graduate earned his bachelor of arts degree as a political science major and a Spanish minor in 1995 and his master of education degree in education administration and supervision at Augusta State University in 1998. He holds the National Soccer Coaches Association of America “Premier” diploma and the United States Soccer Federation “A” license.

During his senior year of high school and freshman year of college, a series of knee injuries sidelined Neal’s competitive playing days. As a goalkeeper, Neal was a youth product of the Wilmington United and Cape Fear SA competitive club teams, as well as New Hanover High School where he earned all-conference honors.

Neal and his wife, Amy, reside in Gibsonville with their daughter, Josilyn, and son, Rex.


 COACHES 

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JOHN PARDINI - Assistant Coach/Assistant Camp Director

John Pardini was named an assistant coach on the Elon University women's soccer staff in 2013 and enters his fifth season with the program in 2017.

In his first four seasons with the Phoenix, the women’s soccer program has made massive strides and has shown improvement despite having to go through a transition in conferences.

The Phoenix finished the 2016 campaign with a 7-9-3 overall mark against a difficult schedule which included three opponents that made the NCAA Championships and five that at least made the finals of their respective conference championships. The program continued its substantial improvement in the CAA, doubling their point total in conference play from 2015 and nearly tripling their total from the program's inaugural CAA season in 2014. Elon had three players receive CAA postseason honors, which included the program's first All-CAA First Team selection in junior center back Kendall Ballotti. One of Neal's players made the CAA All-Rookie Team for the third consecutive season and senior Alexis de Groot earned a spot on the All-Academic team. The maroon and gold had two freshmen, goalkeeper Katelyn Fowler and Taylor Paradoski, earn conference Rookie of the Week awards.

The Phoenix improved its play defensively in 2016 forcing a total of six overtime games, including four during the conference season. Elon also posted three CAA shutouts, which ranked second in the league. In addition to strong play from the back line, Fowler finished second in the CAA in goals against average (0.78) in five games played.

During the 2015 season, which saw a conference record four CAA teams make the prestigious NCAA Tournament, the Phoenix showed significant improvement in Elon’s second season in the league. Elon finished with a 9-8-2 overall record after recording a 5-12 record overall in 2014. Elon's final national ranking in the Bennett Rankings increased by over 70 spots in comparison to the 2014 season and the team's RPI soared over 40 spots as well in 2015. Offensively, Elon scored 12 more goals, conceded 15 less goals, had a goal differential swing of 27 goals, and created 110 more shots created compared to the 2014 season.

Pardini assisted in helped the maroon and gold to one of its best seasons in program history during his first season in 2013, as the Phoenix finished the year with a 13-3-6 record and its first ever appearance in the Southern Conference Championship match. Elon’s 13 wins marked the most during the school’s Division I era, while also marking the team’s fifth-straight winning season. The Phoenix also entered the NSCAA Southeast Regional rankings for the first time in school history, finishing the season ranked 10th among ACC powers such as Virginia, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech Notre Dame, Duke, Boston College, Wake Forest and Maryland. Elon scored in every contest in 2013, another program first, netting a total of 56 goals (third nationally) in 22 matches. Elon had five players garner all-league accolades, including 2013 Southern Conference Player of the Year, Nicole Dennion. As only a sophomore, Dennion set Elon’s Division I single-season goals record with 15.  Elon’s RPI soared as high as 74th (out of 327 teams) in 2013 as well. Elon’s senior class finished the 2013 season with 40 wins, the most by a senior class during Elon’s Division I era. Neal ended the year with a career record of 60-41-22.

Head coach Chris Neal named Pardini an assistant coach on his staff prior to the 2013 season. "I am very happy to have John joining the team," said Neal. "He will be involved in all phases of our program. John's experience as a player and coach make him a perfect fit for us."

During his first season with the Phoenix, Pardini was also the head varsity boys' soccer coach at Western Alamance High School. Just prior to joining the Elon staff, he was named the Mid-State 3A Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and the Region 6 Coach of the Year in 2011.

A native of Smithtown, N.Y., Pardini was a standout defender on the Fordham University men's soccer team from 2005-08, earning first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors in 2007 and 2008. A 2008 candidate for the M.A.C. Herman Trophy, Pardini was also a three-time NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region selection and a two-time team MVP. Pardini earned a bachelor's degree in history in 2008 and a masters of science in teaching adolescent social studies from Fordham in 2010.

"I am very excited to be joining Elon's exceptional women's soccer program and elite coaching staff this coming fall," Pardini said after being hired in 2013. "I hope to assist with the team's continued success as one of the top programs in the conference."

Following a successful collegiate career, Pardini also played professionally for the Long Island Rough Riders of the USL Premier Development League from 2008-10. In 2006, Pardini was also named the Player of the Year for the U-20 Red Bull New York squad.

Pardini married the former Charlotte Bryant in June of 2016.


 

 COACHES 

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SAMMY SCOFIELD - Assistant Coach

Sammy Scofield enters her second season with the Elon Phoenix women's soccer coaching staff in 2017.

In her first season, the Phoenix finished the 2016 campaign with a 7-9-3 overall mark against a difficult schedule which included three opponents that made the NCAA Championships and five that at least made the finals of their respective conference championships. The program continued its substantial improvement in the CAA, doubling their point total in conference play from 2015 and nearly tripling their total from the program's inaugural CAA season in 2014. Elon had three players receive CAA postseason honors, which included the program's first All-CAA First Team selection in junior center back Kendall Ballotti. One of Neal's players made the CAA All-Rookie Team for the third consecutive season and senior Alexis de Groot earned a spot on the All-Academic team. The maroon and gold had two freshmen, goalkeeper Katelyn Fowler and Taylor Paradoski, earn conference Rookie of the Week awards.

The Phoenix improved its play defensively in 2016 forcing a total of six overtime games, including four during the conference season. Elon also posted three CAA shutouts, which ranked second in the league. In addition to strong play from the back line, Fowler finished second in the CAA in goals against average (0.78) in five games played.

Scofield joined the Phoenix staff in 2016 after spending the previous season as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining the Wildcats, Scofield was a standout center back at the University of Notre Dame where she helped lead an Irish squad to four NCAA Tournament appearances and was a four-year Monogram winner.

“Sammy has many years of successful high-level experience, as a player and coach, that will allow her to provide tremendous perspective to our current student-athletes,” said Neal. “During the interview process, Sammy immediately proved she has the necessary drive and competitive fire to help our program achieve new levels."

The Wildcats finished 9-7-2 overall and 3-5-3 in the SEC during the 2015 season. Kentucky head coach Jon Lipsitz sees a bright future in Scofield’s coaching career. “Sammy is a fantastic hire and will make an immediate impact,” said Kentucky’s head women’s soccer coach Jon Lipsitz. “She knows the game and has the work ethic to make an impact on the college game. I am excitied to watch her continue to grow as a great young coach.”

While playing for Notre Dame, Scofield started in 79 of her 88 total matches during her four-year career, including being named the team’s Most Valuable Freshman during in 2011. She was named a team captain for her senior season in 2014. She was also a four-time Monogram award winner.

Current Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romangnolo, who coached Scofield during her senior season, thinks she will bring a vast wealth of experience and knowledge to the Elon program. "Sammy will bring a tremendous level of elite playing experience to her coaching position at Elon, said Notre Dame head women’s soccer coach Theresa Romangnolo. “She will be able to help pass on her knowledge of the game as well as provide support to the staff in all areas of the coaching role. It's a great opportunity for her to learn and grow as a coach."

Current manager of NWSL’s Houston Dash and former Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum, who recruited Scofield, believes that her success, defensive knowledge, and mentality can add to the culture of the program. "I'm very excited to hear that Sammy will be joining the coaching staff at Elon,” said coach Waldrum. “She is a true warrior and competitor, so she'll bring that winning mentality to those young players. She understands the game well and should be a great asset in helping with their defensive structure. I think it's a great hire and great opportunity for both Sammy and Elon."

In 2012, Scofield earned an invitation to United States Under-23 National Team camp in January in Sarasota, Fla. She was also part of the 2010 U-18 National Team player pool, participating in U-18 camp in April 2010 at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

In addition to her coaching experience at Kentucky, Scofield previously worked with Coerver Coaching of Illinois and Indiana, was the head coach of the Michiana Echo U-13 Girls in 2015, and a camp counselor for Notre Dame Women’s Soccer Summer Camps and for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.