Soccer Wins C-USA Opener At Rice, 2-0
Sept. 26, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina soccer team started conference play off on the right foot Friday evening, shutting out Rice, 2-0, at the Rice Soccer Stadium. The Pirates improve to 6-3-0 overall and 1-0-0 in C-USA while the Owls fall to 4-4-0 on the season and 0-1-0 in conference play.
From the 13th to 20th minutes of the first half, each squad had two corner kicks at their disposal but neither could find the back of the net. ECU finally broke through in the 39th minute on its second shot of the game when junior Alexis Foltz took a pass from senior Savanna Russo inside the box and beat Rice keeper Meghan Erkel to her right to give the Pirates the 1-0 advantage. It was Foltz' first goal of the season.
Both teams had a chance in the final minute of the interval but each keeper came up with saves to keep the score line at 1-0 in favor of East Carolina. The stanza was fairly balanced, as each squad registered four shots and the Owls had a slight 2-1 lead in fouls.
Rice had a chance to tie the game just three minutes into the second half, but Hope Ward's shot sailed wide of Pirate net minder Amber Campbell. ECU won a corner in the 69th minute and cashed in the opportunity when sophomore Amanda Broz found the ball and slid it home through traffic to provide the final margin. The Owls took five shots in the final nine minutes in a comeback attempt but Campbell came up with four huge saves to preserve the victory.
"I am very happy with our team's performance," head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. "We defended well as a team and Amber came up with some big saves."
Freshman Amanda Malkiewicz led the Pirates in shots with two while Russo produced the assist on both scores. Campbell turned in her fourth shutout of the season and 25th of her career. The victory marked the second consecutive time that East Carolina has held Rice scoreless as the Pirates garnered a 1-0 win at Bunting Field last season.
ECU will remain in town over the weekend and travel just five miles to the campus of Houston for a 2 p.m. showdown with the Cougars at Robertson Stadium on Sunday.