East Carolina Shuts Out Western Carolina For First Win of 2014

Jenna Geist

Aug. 24, 2014

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CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Sophomore midfielder Jenna Geist scored East Carolina's first goal of the season in the 57th minute, while redshirt junior goalkeeper Saundra Baron notched her sixth-career shutout as the Pirates defeated Western Carolina, 1-0, Sunday afternoon.

"It was a good first win on the road," head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. "We had a few stretches of good play, including Jenna's header. The last ten minutes were frantic as Western sent everyone forward, but Saundra came up big and helped us hold on."

In what was a relatively quiet first 45 minutes that did not see any goals scored, the Pirates outshot the Catamounts, 4-3, in the first half behind attempts by Kendall Frey, Kelly Miller, Autumn Berry and Stephanie Seagrave, but Western Carolina held a 2-1 edge in corner kicks.

ECU (1-1) applied pressure to start the second half and drew a free kick outside the opposition's penalty area on the far side of the field just 12 minutes into the period. Seagrave, who ranked second on the team with 11 points last season, lofted the free kick into the Catamounts' goal box where Geist headed the ball into the near-side corner of the net to put the Pirates ahead, 1-0.

The tally was Geist's first game-winner, as the Bow Mar, Colo., native scored her first-collegiate goal on Sept. 6, 2013 against UNC Wilmington.

Western Carolina (0-2) did not go away however, as it put together a handful of late scoring opportunities, perhaps none better than a shot from point-blank range in the 89th minute that was blocked and deflected over the crossbar by Baron to preserve the shutout. The Greensboro, N.C., native made three saves overall.

The Catamounts outshot the Pirates, 7-3, in the second half and 10-7 overall, while owning a 5-1 advantage in corner kick chances.

East Carolina will conclude its three-game road swing next Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m., against George Mason, before heading to Florence, S.C., on Monday, Sept. 1 for a 7 p.m., kick-off at Francis Marion.