ECU Completes C-USA Opening Weekend Sweep, 1-0

UABSPORTS.COM Junior Christiane Cordero posted her fourth shutout of the season and 11th in her career.
Junior Christiane Cordero posted her fourth shutout of the season and 11th in her career.

Sept. 23, 2012

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Freshman Kendall Frey scored her second career goal and junior keeper Christiane Cordero collected six saves as the East Carolina women's soccer team recorded its second-straight shutout in Conference USA action Sunday afternoon against Colorado College, 1-0, at the ECU Soccer Stadium. With the win, the Pirates improve to 6-4 overall and 2-0 in league play, while the Tigers fall to 6-2-3 and 0-2.

Senior Chrissy Gratz' speed was the difference on the lone goal of the afternoon. After CCW was called for a foul in the 46th minute, Hali Oughton sent a free kick from past the midfield to Gratz, who used her speed to make a hard diagonal run to the right of the field, weaving through the Tigers defense. Just to the right of the goal, she was able to fire a shot where Frey picked up the rebound and stuck the ball in the back of the net for her second game-winning strike of the season.

"This was a big win for us today," said ECU Head Coach Rob Donnenwirth. "One of the biggest differences today was we were able to rotate a lot of players in and I think they [CCW] were a little more worn down in the second half. We pressured them real well and kept them locked in a little bit and they were not able to substitute many players."

For the second consecutive match, the Pirates toughness was tested as they battled another high-octane scoring attack in C-USA action. CCW, who averages just over two goals and 17 shots a game, was held in check on the day tallying 12 total strikes (six on goal).

Cordero and company limited scoring chances with CCW's two best opportunities coming from Brittany Lyman in the 31st and 78th minutes of play. Lyman's first attempt was negated when she powered a shot from just left of the circle hitting the crossbar in the first half. In the second period, she sent a shot to the left of the box, where Cordero made a diving save to keep the score at 1-0.

"I thought Christiane made some huge saves for us early, which helped us when we weren't really on our game," said Donnenwirth. We were better in the second half today than in the first and that was a key factor in getting our second win in conference play.

"We played good team defense today. Another key this afternoon was the way Rachel [Wechsler] was able to communicate and organize the midfield. That's one position that doesn't get a lot of credit, but she does a great job of letting our players know what's going on. And obviously our back line was great once again and played fundamentally sound defense."

Offensively, four Pirates in Caty Butler, Frey, Gratz and Danielle Romano recorded two shots during the match with Rachel Fuller, Kelley Johnson and Maddie Maurer each adding one.

For the Tigers, Kaeli Vandersluis posted five shots, while Lyman recorded three and Madison Whitehead added two. Keeper Hanna Berglund stopped three shots in 75 minutes of action before being replaced by Kate Scheele for the final 14 minutes.

CCW tallied seven corner kicks to ECU's three and was flagged for 14 fouls (three yellow cards) to the Pirates 11.

ECU will now hit the road for its next four matches. Up first is a weekend trip to Memphis (Friday, Sept. 28) followed by UAB (Sunday, Sept. 30).