Pirates Fall To Cougars, 2-1
Sept. 27, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Houston used two goals within the final 10 minutes of the contest to come back and defeat East Carolina 2-1 on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Bunting Field. Pirate sophomore Amanda Malkiewicz scored 4:15 into the contest, but the Cougars’ Jessica Zavalza scored the game-winning goal at the 85:10 mark.
The victory gives Houston (3-6, 1-1 C-USA) its first in program history over East Carolina (6-2-2, 1-1 C-USA). The defeat is also the first at home for the Pirates this year and just their third since the start of the 2007 season.
ECU got off to a fast start, scoring just over four minutes into the contest. After the ball went out of bounds off a Cougar player, the Pirates received a throw-in that Rachel Wechsler took. Wechsler’s pass went behind the Houston defense and found Malkiewicz, who was then one-on-one with Houston goalkeeper Lauren Frazier.
Malkiewicz beat Frazier into the upper left corner for the score. It was Malkiewicz’ fourth goal of the season, the same number she had all of last season. The assist for Wechsler was her fourth, tying her with Chrissy Gratz for the most on the team.
“We came out well and got that quick goal,” head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. “But then we took our foot off the gas pedal and could not get it back on. Give Houston credit, they outworked us and deserved the victory.”
The Pirates recorded only three more shots in the opening half while Houston took five shots, three on goal. East Carolina goalkeeper Jen Kurowicki made three saves in the frame. Unlike Friday against Rice, the Pirates held the advantage in corner kicks in the first period at 4-0.
In the second half, the Pirates took eight shots, but only one on goal, by Tricia Tufts. The Cougars managed four shots, but two of them were converted into goals. Frazier and Kurowicki each made one save during the second period.
East Carolina still held the 1-0 advantage with less than 10 minutes remaining, but Katelyn Rhodes scored at the 80:25 mark to knot the game at 1-1. Kurowicki came out to play Zavalza, who was breaking in on the net, and Kurowicki got her gloves on the ball, but could not corral it. Rhodes collected the loose ball and shot it into the vacated goal.
Less than five minutes later, Zavalza struck for the game-winning goal. Stephanie Derieg sent a long pass down the field that Zavalza collected and beat Kurowicki to give the Cougars the win.
“We made bad decisions in front of our own goal, and eventually they will come back to bite you,” Donnenwirth said. “Our backs played well for 80 minutes, but we just couldn’t close it out.”
The Pirates had their final chance within the last two minutes when they received a corner kick, but could not convert the opportunity.
East Carolina returns to the field next weekend for two more Conference USA home games as Southern Miss and UCF come to Greenville. The Pirates play Southern Miss Friday at 4 p.m. and the Knights Sunday at 1 p.m. It will be the next-to-last home weekend for ECU this season.