GREENVILLE, N.C. - Freshman striker Courtney Taybron scored in the 93rd minute to give East Carolina a 1-0 victory over Longwood in exhibition play Friday evening at Johnson Soccer Stadium.
"We had moments of good play but gave up the ball too easily in the midfield," head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. "We tried a completely different way of playing in the second half. The freshmen got their feet wet and that's what you want. We're still in preseason mode and working hard every day. Overall, I'm happy with how they played tonight."
The Pirates held the Lancers without a shot in the first half and dominated possession, but struggled to come up with significant scoring chances of their own, recording just three shots, as the game remained scoreless through the first 45 minutes.
Longwood came out a bit more aggressive in the second half, but ECU responded with immense pressure of its own despite squandering several golden scoring opportunities. Lancers goalkeeper Hailey Machen made four big saves on five East Carolina shots, as Pirate net-minder Erika Lenns made one stop to keep the match locked in a stalemate through 90 minutes of action.
Just under four minutes into a 20-minute overtime period, Taybron collected a loose ball deep inside Longwood's defense, made a sharp move to her right and buried her first shot of the night into the top right corner of the goal to give the Pirates the 1-0 win.
"I was timid coming in and in the first half, but the girls calmed me down and Coach Donnenwirth told me to do what I do best which is run and get after balls," Taybron said. "I turned hard to my right and knew I had to get to a place where I could get the goalkeeper off her feet, I did and we got a goal."
Taybron finished the evening with two shots, including the overtime tally.
"Her strength is when she can get behind the backs and when she does that, she's a handful for defenders," Donnenwirth said. "It was good to see that."
ECU outshot Longwood 10-4 on the night and held a 7-6 edge in corner kick chances.
East Carolina will kick off its 2014 regular season at home next Friday, Aug. 22 when it hosts South Carolina at 7 p.m.