ECU Tops Rice, 3-1, In Conference USA Action Friday Night

UABSPORTS.COM Junior Chrissy Gratz
Junior Chrissy Gratz

Oct. 21, 2011

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Seniors Kimmy Cummings and Amanda Malkiewicz combined to score three unanswered goals lifting East Carolina (8-6-1, 3-5-0) to a 3-1 over Rice (9-6-2, 4-4-1) Friday night in Conference USA action at the ECU Soccer Stadium.

Trailing 1-0 in the 23rd minute, Cummings scored the first of her two goals on the night from 18 yards out. Junior Maddie Maurer lobbed a pass to the far right of the box finding Cummings all alone, who drilled a shot to the lower left corner for the equalizer.

In the 63rd minute, Malkiewicz netted the game-winner, her third of the season and 10th career, when she placed a ball in the lower left corner past a diving Amy Czyz giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Senior Jessica Abshire started the run sending a pass up the field to Chrissy Gratz, who found Malkiewicz behind a Rice defender for her fifth goal and 22nd career (fourth-most all-time at ECU).

Fourteen minutes later ECU struck again putting the game out of reach at 3-1. Cummings sent a pass over to Lexi Miller, who returned the favor with a touch pass inside the box for Cummings' second goal of the night and team-leading eight strike from 18 yards out at the 76:11 mark.

"This is a really good win for our team," said Head Coach Rob Donnenwirth. "Rice was on fire during the first 15 minutes and caused us a lot of problems. After that we settled down and started to connect on some passes. We had three beautiful goals by Kimmy (Cummings) and Amanda (Malkiewicz). I thought Lexi (Miller) having presence enough to be patient on her passes tonight was huge. Chrissy (Gratz) also made a great pass setting up the game-winning score. But overall, we played a great game the last 75 minutes and got a huge win against a really good Rice team."

Rice jumped out to a 1-0 advantage at the 4:20 mark in the first half when Lauren Busansky lobbed a shot from just inside the midfield line over the head of ECU goalie Christine Cordero for her third goal of the season.

Cordero faced 11 shots from the Owls registering seven saves for her eighth win of the season. Her counterpart, Czyz, faced 10 shots posting three saves in the loss.

The Pirates will continue their home stand on Sunday, Oct. 23 when they welcome in Houston for a 2 p.m. match.