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East Carolina Plays to 2-2 Draw at Rice

Go Tigers! Lexi Miller (left) and Stephanie Seagrave (right)
Go Tigers!
Lexi Miller (left) and Stephanie Seagrave (right)
Go Tigers!

Oct. 27, 2013

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HOUSTON – The East Carolina women’s soccer team led two times but could not hold onto those advantages as the Pirates tied Rice, 2-2, in Conference USA action Sunday afternoon.

The match was East Carolina’s (7-8-3, 4-4-1 C-USA) sixth game to go beyond 90 minutes and fifth double overtime affair of the 2013 season.

ECU, which entered the day in third place in the C-USA standings, fell back to fourth place, but controls its own destiny in its bid for a spot in the C-USA Tournament. East Carolina holds a two-point lead over both Marshall and its final regular-season opponent, Middle Tennessee, in the East Division standings.

The Pirates will host the Blue Raiders on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m., on Senior Day at the ECU Soccer Stadium and will solidify a spot in the C-USA tourney with a win or a tie.

The first half moved at a fluid pace, with the Pirates outshooting the Owls, 12-6, and 3-2 in shots on goal, but Rice owned a 6-2 advantage in corner-kick opportunities in the half, as both teams exchanged scoring chances. East Carolina broke the stalemate just before the halftime buzzer sounded, when junior forward Stephanie Seagrave scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season in the 43rd minute on a cross from sophomore defender Haley Patsey.

Rice (6-7-3, 4-4-1 C-USA) wasted little time getting itself back into the match after the intermission, when forward Holly Hargreaves tied the match, 1-1, just eight minutes into the period.

After a little more than 20 minutes and the tempo of the game returning to a similar state as the first half, sophomore striker Kendall Frey hit home a one-timer from redshirt junior midfielder Lexi Miller in the 74th minute to put the Pirates ahead once again at 2-1.

The goal tied Frey with Seagrave for the team lead in goals with four and was her third in the last four games. Frey’s last three scoring strikes have been go-ahead goals.

Despite ECU’s numerous attempts to put the game away in the final 15 minutes, the Owls did not shy away from their second deficit of the game, as forward and leading-scorer Lauren Hughes scored on a cross into the box in the 84th minute to knot the score at two all.

Neither team produced a score over the course of the final five-plus minutes of regulation, as the game moved to overtime with both teams taking 21 shots apiece.

Two, 10-minute overtime periods could not decide a winner, as ECU and Rice each picked up one point in the C-USA standings.

Miller led all players with seven shots in the game, junior midfielder Kelley Johnson had four, and Seagrave, Frey and redshirt sophomore midfielder Lexi Herring each took three in the match.

East Carolina outshot Rice, 24-22, in the match and held a 9-7 advantage in shots on goal. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Saundra Baron made five saves, while the Owls’ Amy Czyz stopped seven ECU shots on the afternoon.