Oct. 25, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Sophomore striker Kendall Frey scored her second game-winning goal in the last three games, as the East Carolina women’s soccer team moved its Conference USA record to .500 with a 1-0 road victory at Southern Miss on Friday evening.
With the win, East Carolina (7-8-2, 4-4-0 C-USA) collected its third consecutive win and fifth shutout of the season, earning three crucial points in the C-USA East Division standings. Entering the match and with three games remaining in the regular season, the Pirates held ownership of fifth place in the division – the final spot in the C-USA Tournament which will take place Nov. 6-10 in Houston, Texas.
“It was a good win,” sad head coach Rob Donnenwirth. “We had chances in the first half and hit the post twice.”
The first half went scoreless, but was far from unentertaining, as both teams totaled eight shots apiece and had their fair shares of scoring opportunities. Despite the 0-0 score, ECU was clearly the aggressor, putting six of their eight shots on goal and owning a 5-0 edge in corner kick chances, but was unable to find the back of the net.
Southern Miss (6-8-4, 0-6-2) opened the second half with an aggressive rush of its own in the first 20-plus minutes, outshooting the Pirates 6-2 and earning three corner kick opportunities during that span.
“They came out strong in the second half, but after Kendall’s goal, our (defensive) backs and Saundra (Baron) were solid the rest of the way,” Donnenwirth said.
The Pirates’ defense remained strong and cleared each of the Golden Eagles’ scoring threats, but a Southern Miss yellow card in the 63rd minute turned a bit of the team’s momentum and the Pirates pounced on it. Just four minutes later, Frey her stamp on the contest with her third goal of the season on a feed from redshirt junior midfielder Lexi Miller to give ECU the 1-0 lead in what turned out to be the deciding tally in the match.
The goal was Frey’s second game-winner in as many Friday matches, after she put home the deciding goal in ECU’s 2-1 overtime win at Florida International just seven days prior.
Junior striker Stephanie Seagrave led the Pirates with four shots, two of which were on goal, while Frey had three of her own.
The Golden Eagles had a few more scoring opportunities in the waning minutes of regulation, but behind the Pirates’ excellent defensive effort was redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Saundra Baron who posted her fourth shutout, while making seven saves in the game.
Southern Miss goalkeeper Brittany Taylor made 10 saves for the Golden Eagles, and forward Danica Roberts led the team with six shots on the day.
East Carolina will make the final stop on its road trip in Houston, Texas on Sunday, Oct. 27 for a 2 p.m., match against Rice.
Match #18: East Carolina (7-8-2, 4-4-0 C-USA) vs. Rice (5-7-2, 3-4-0 C-USA)
When: Sunday, October 27 at 2 p.m.
Where: Houston, Texas – Rice Soccer Stadium
Series Record: East Carolina leads, 5-2-1
Last Meeting: 2012
Links: Live Stats