Late Goal Lifts Pirates Past Houston, 1-0
Sept. 28, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - After earning a 2-0 win over Rice in its Conference USA opener on Friday, the East Carolina soccer team posted its second consecutive shutout with a 1-0 victory over Houston on Sunday afternoon at Robertson Stadium. The Pirates improve to 7-3-0 overall and 2-0-0 in C-USA while the Cougars fall to 4-5-0 on the season and 0-2-0 in conference play.
The triumph marks just the second time that the program has started its C-USA schedule 2-0-0, the other coming in 2001, the squad's first season as a member of the Dallas-based league.
The scoreless first half was dominated offensively by Houston, which registered six shots as opposed to one for ECU. Pirate keeper Amber Campbell made saves on the Cougars' first two shots of the contest before the last four missed the target completely. East Carolina's lone chance of the stanza came in the 42nd minute when sophomore Tricia Tufts tried her luck but shot wide right. The Pirates were the physical aggressors in the first half, committing seven fouls to just two for the home team.
Each squad had two chances in the first 15 minutes of the second interval, but ECU shot wide on its two attempts while Campbell came up with two saves to keep the game scoreless. In contest's waning moments, a senior finally broke the deadlock as Blair Heffner tallied her second goal of the season, taking a half chance that rebounded off a Houston player in the box and slotting it home. Sophomore Jessica Cunningham picked up the lone assist on the play. The Pirates out-shot the Cougars 7-6 in the second half while fouls were even at three a piece.
Campbell was brilliant for the second straight game for East Carolina, recording five saves to preserve her fifth shutout of the season and 26th of her career. The senior now has two clean sheets to begin conference play. Freshman Amanda Malkiewicz was the lone Pirate to record multiple shots as she produced two.
"We struggled in the first half but came on strong in the second," head coach Rob Donnenwirth commented. "We started winning 50-50 balls and it paid off with a goal in the end. Our backs and Amber had another great game."
ECU remains away from home for its next match, continuing a four-game C-USA road trip with a match at Southern Miss on Friday. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Southern Miss Track and Field and Soccer Complex.