GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU Media Relations) – The East Carolina women’s soccer team had its three-game winning streak snapped in a 2-0 loss to UNC Wilmington at Johnson Soccer Stadium on Thursday evening.
Junior striker Lana Spitler led all players with five shots, while sophomore forward Courtney Taybron posted a career-high three shots for East Carolina (4-4-1)
“We just did not play well in the first half and I thought that was a big difference in the game,” Head Coach Rob Donnenwirth said. “The effort was there in the second half, and at times, I thought we looked really good. I think we could have finished some of our chances we had, which needs to start happening.”
The first 15 minutes of the match displayed conservative efforts by both teams, but UNCW (6-3) took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute when a pass by Maddie McCormick from the far sideline rolled across ECU’s goal box and landed on the foot of a wide open Lindsey Byrne. Byrne settled the ball with one touch and hit a shot past oncoming goalkeeper Saundra Baron and into the back of the net from about eight yards out.
The pace picked up for the final 20-plus minutes of the first half, as East Carolina put together a handful of scoring chances and a few shots on goal, but four offside calls stalled its efforts to find an equalizer before the end of the period.
The Seahawks held a 6-4 edge in total shots and 4-0 advantage in corner kicks in the half, while the Pirates had a 3-2 lead in shots on goal.
UNCW struck again just 11 minutes into the second half when a loose ball was caused by a collision between Baron and McCormick, and Byrne was there to collect the rebound and slip an easy shot into the net for her second goal of the night.
In the 71st minute, the Pirates put together one of their best scoring chances of the match when senior Kendall Frey sent a cross into the box that found the head of junior midfielder Jenna Geist, who redirected the ball toward the goal but the attempt went just high of the crossbar.
ECU was the clear aggressor in the second half outshooting UNCW, 9-1, in the period, but was unable to get on the scoreboard. The Pirates finished the match with a 13-7 advantage in the shots column.
East Carolina will remain at home for its next match and host Old Dominion on Sunday, Sept. 20. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.