Pirates Tie Wolfpack, 2-2
Sept. 11, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. – In the first meeting since 2000 between rivals East Carolina and N.C. State, the Pirates fell behind 2-0 within the first six minutes, but fought back for a 2-2 tie at Dail Soccer Field Friday night. ECU (3-1-1) and the Wolfpack (4-1-1) scored all four goals within the first 22 minutes of the game before the defenses took control.
It was the Pirates' first overtime game of the season after playing eight contests that went into extra periods last season. With the tie, ECU has gone 5-1-10 in OT games since 2007, with the only loss occurring at UCF on Oct. 7, 2007.
At the beginning of the match, N.C. State took the ball deep into Pirate territory and earned a corner kick just 47 seconds into the contest. The Wolfpack took two shots in close off the corner that ECU starting goalkeeper Jen Kurowicki stopped, but a third shot by Paige Dugal went past Kurowicki at 1:02 for a 1-0 lead. Kara Baldy tallied the assist on the play.
Five minutes later, a Pirate foul led to a free kick by Katie Ruiz from 45 yards away. Ruiz' kick found Kara Blosser on the far side of the goal and she headed it past Kurowicki at 6:02 for a 2-0 N.C. State advantage.
"We gave up two quick goals," head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. "But we came back and the girls didn't quit. We scored two key goals."
The Pirates got on the scoreboard at 13:34 when Bailey Wilcox took a cross from Chrissy Gratz, who was on the far right side, and headed it on a bounce past Wolfpack goalkeeper Kim Kern and into the lower left corner. The goal was Wilcox's third of the season, setting a career high. She has taken six shots this season with all of them being on goal.
After the first ECU goal, the Pirate defense stiffened, allowing just two shots for the remainder of the half after giving up six within the first 9:36 of the period. Kurowicki finished her night with a career-high five saves.
At the 21:27 mark, Gratz scored her first career goal to knot the game at 2-2. Gratz fired her shot from 30 yards out, and it floated over Kern and into the back of the net.
In the second half, Ruiz nearly put N.C. State ahead 3-2, but her shot sailed just over the crossbar at 48:12. Ten minutes later, Dugal sent a shot toward the left side of the goal, but East Carolina's second-half goalkeeper, Berit Hansen, dove and made the save. In the first 20 minutes of the second half, the Wolfpack outshot the Pirates 4-2.
NCSU's Gia Cipollini had another chance to put the host ahead at 69:45 when she took a free kick from 18 yards out and it sailed to the right of the goal.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the second half, East Carolina took a free kick that Jessica Woodward headed toward the goal, but missed wide right. N.C. State took the final shot in regulation at 84:45, but it also missed wide.
The first overtime did not result in any scoring chances as ECU did not register any shots and the Wolfpack took just two.
In the second overtime, East Carolina had its best scoring chance when Amanda Malkiewicz fired halfway through the session but Kern dove and made the save. N.C. State's Tanya Cain took a shot with four minutes remaining, but it flew high and over the crossbar. It was the final shot of the contest.
"I give N.C. State credit," Donnenwirth said. "They are a much improved team and I was impressed with them. We matched their effort but didn't play exactly the way we wanted to. Part of that was due to the pressure N.C. State put on us."
The Pirates have tomorrow off before finishing this weekend's action at 2 p.m. Sunday hosting former Colonial Athletic Association foe Old Dominion.