Pirates Tame Panthers On The Pitch, 2-1

UABSPORTS.COM Sophomore Lexi Miller
Sophomore Lexi Miller

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Following a 70 minute rain delay, the East Carolina women's soccer team picked up its third win of the season defeating High Point 2-1 Thursday night at the ECU Soccer Stadium. With the win, the Pirates push their record to 3-3, while the Panthers fall to 1-2-3.

The Pirates took an early 1-0 lead in the 16th minute on an own goal and then scored in the 53rd minute from Lexi Miller for a 2-0 advantage. Miller received a pass from Kelly Miller and drilled a shot from 27-yards out that hit off of High Point's keeper Jessie May's hands into the net.

"The hard thing for us is that we didn't have good preparation time for tonight's game," said ECU Head Coach Rob Donnenwirth. "We played Monday night, had to take Tuesday off, a day before a game is light. So we didn't get a lot of practice in, but I thought the team battled and I give them credit. It was a quick turnaround as rest goes, and I thought we showed good energy."

High Point finally got on the scoreboard in the 6th minute when Amy Burch scored her first collegiate goal off a rebound from a shot by Becca Lisson. Lisson beat her defender and put a header on frame forcing a diving stop by Pirate keeper Christiane Cordero. The ball fell right to the feet of Burch at the left post and she tapped it home to make the score 2-1.

"I thought we put enough pressure on High Point early and got a fluke goal (own goal)," Donnenwirth added. "Then Lexi [Miller] took a good chance early in the second half. She took a good shot and put a lot behind it and came away with a good goal. At that point I felt good with where we were at, then all of the sudden the momentum changed when they scored to pull within one.

"Kelley [Johnson] gave us a lift coming back tonight. You could just see her change of pace in the midfield winning balls. She hit the crossbar on a shot that would have made the game 3-0 and if that happens, the game is pretty much in our hands. It was good to get her back, now we just need to get Chrissy [Gratz] back on the field to help our attack."

In the final 11 minutes of play, High Point put three shots on goal forcing saves by Cordero, who finished the match with four. Her counterpart also had four saves in 90 minutes of action.

"I thought our midfield play worked extremely hard defensively tonight," said Donnenwirth. "Rachel Wechsler has had her two best games at ECU the last two times out. Before Monday, she had never played 90 minutes of a game and now she has back-to-back games playing every minute. You can't forget about our back line, which were tough again tonight. They didn't let anything get behind them tonight and that was part of the game plan."

ECU outshot High Point 13-6 on the night posting 10 shots (four on goal) in the second half. Caty Butler led all players with three shots, while Kendall Frey and Hali Oughton each added a pair.

The Pirates will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 9 when they travel to Columbia, S.C. to take on South Carolina. Game time is set for 1 p.m. (ET).