ECU Tops UTEP In Conference USA Opener, 1-0
Sept. 21, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Lexi Miller scored her team leading third goal of the season to help the East Carolina women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over UTEP Friday night in the Conference USA opener for both teams at the ECU Soccer Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 5-4 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Miners fall to 7-3 and 0-1.
Early in the first half, Miller netted her second game-winning strike of the year. Redshirt sophomore Danielle Romano placed a corner kick to the back side of the box where Miller headed the ball down to the ground past the UTEP keeper for the lone goal of the match.
"We talk about set pieces all the time and how those can be the difference between winning and losing," said head coach Rob Donnenwirth on the game-winning strike. "And that's what exactly happened tonight."
Both teams had their chances to score on the night. Just before Miller's goal, fifth-year senior Rachel Fuller narrowly missed scoring her first goal of the season on a sliding shot to the right of the box.
UTEP's Jade Babcock had two great looks at the goal in the second half. The first game in the 67th minute of play when she received a pass and dribbled through the Pirates defense and sending a shot from 23 yards out that hit the cross bar. Just four minutes later she fired another rocket from about 30 yards out that went just high of the cross bar.
"Any win is a good win, especially in conference play," Donnenwirth added. "I was proud of the way the girls battled tonight and I thought all of our backs were really good. They [UTEP] like to get the players wide and go at you one-on-one. I don't think UTEP had tons of good looks at the goal, they had a few, but they made us work tonight for this win."
The Pirates defense kept the Miners high octane offense in check keeping them off the board for the first time this season. UTEP, who averages 16 shots per game, was held to just nine (five on goal), while ECU posted six, four on goal.
Junior Pirate keeper Christiane Cordero recorded five saves during 90 minutes on the pitch, while her counterpart Sarah Dilling suffered just her third loss of the year allowing one goal and posting three saves.
ECU will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 23 when they play host to Colorado College at 12 noon (ET).