Miller Lifts ECU Over Western Carolina In Double OT
Sep 2, 2013
Lexi Miller scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to lift the East Carolina women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Western Carolina Monday at the ECU Soccer Stadium.
With the victory, the Pirates improve to 2-1-1 on the year, while the Catamounts suffered their first loss and fell to 3-1.
"We were able to put them under a little more pressure in the second half and were able to get the ball in the box," Pirate head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. "Good things happen when you get the ball in the box. We had a lot of great shots that didn't go in, but I was proud of the way we came out after halftime and were able to penetrate their defense."
The Catamounts got off to a fast start, launching seven shots in the opening half, but just two on goal. However, one of those two shots on goal found the back of the net as Kelly Pannell fired a shot from 25 yards out that sailed just over the outstretched arm of ECU goalkeeper Saundra Baron for a 1-0 lead. On the reverse side, the Pirates got off just one shot in the first 45 minutes.
Things drastically changed after halftime as it was ECU who was pounding the goal posts getting off seven shots in the second period compared to just two by the Catamounts.
The Pirates tied the game in 55th minute when freshman defender Caitlin Hite floated a free kick into the back corner of the goal for her first career strike.
"We have a play and I was trying to hit Lexi [at the far post] and it just ended up in the goal instead," Hite said. "After I hit it I was waiting for Lexi to run, but the ball didn't go down and the next thing you know it's in the back of the net."
After 100 minutes of play, the game was still not decided until Miller got by her defender 20 seconds into the second overtime period and put home the third game-winner of her career.
"There was a different type of goal for me," Miller explained. "I was so exhausted. I just thought to myself that I'm either going to play hard for another 10 minutes and fight or get it done right now. I looked around at my teammates and they were all spent, so I took one for the team. It was a great feeling.
"I was still able to take h[the defender] one-on-one and score, which just reiterates what I should do. Next time I have that opportunity I'm going to think to myself that I can beat her and score."
Miller and Hite were both named to the All-ECU Soccer Tournament team along with junior teammate Stephanie Seagrave. UNCG placed four players on the all-tournament team, while UNC Wilmington and WCU had two apiece.
The Pirates return to action Friday night against UNC Wilmington. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start at the ECU Soccer Stadium.
All-East Carolina Soccer Tournament Team