East Carolina University’s lacrosse team (0-0, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) is set to play in its first match of the season against Furman University (0-0, 0-0 Southern Conference) on Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. at Johnson Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina.
The matchup between ECU and Furman will be the first time the Pirates’ lacrosse team will take the field in gameplay since March 10, 2020.
The Pirates opened their 2020 season against Furman as well, where the Paladins won 14-11, led by senior attacker Grace Pollack’s five goals. After their loss in the opener, the Pirates won their next five straight games before losing their last two games against the United States Military Academy West Point and Duke University.
ECU’s 2021 roster leans heavily on the upperclassmen side as it consists of 14 seniors, 10 juniors, six sophomores and six freshmen. Senior midfielder Nicole Legar led the team in points during the 2020 season with 25, according to ECUPirates. Legar had 16 goals as well as nine assists as she shot 47% on the season.
Legar was one of three players to score over 20 points in the shortened season. Then-sophomore attacker Megan Tryniski was second on the team with 23 points off of 16 goals and seven assists on 26 shots.
The third player with at least 20 points for the Pirates was current senior attacker Megan Pallozzi. Pallozzi scored 20 points in the 2020 season. She did so with a team high of 17 goals and three assists. Her 17 goals were scored on 35 shots, which was also a team high, according to ECUPirates.
Senior attacker Mackell Schultes, then-sophomore midfielder Ellie Bromley and senior attacker Ally Stanton all scored over 10 points with Schultes at 19 before the season was cut short. The Pirates will return a few of their top performers of the 2020 season with Pallozzi, Shultes and Stanton all on the roster for 2021.
The Pirates will be short-handed in their season opener due to a small cluster of COVID-19 within the lacrosse program. Five positive cases have been identified, according to ECU News Services.
Prior to the season shut down, Furnam was just 3-4. The Paladins started off 2-0 with wins against ECU and Fresno State University (0-0) before they lost their next four and won what would end up being their final game of the season against Bucknell university.
Furnam was led by Pollack with 29 points during the 2020 campaign. Pollack finished the shortened season with 21 goals and eight assists for 29 points. Her 21 goals were scored on 45 shots. The only other player on Furnam that scored at least 20 points was now-senior attacker Hannah Demis, who scored eight goals but had a team high 20 assists for a total of 28 points.
Pollack is the only one of Furnam’s top four scorers from 2020 not on the team’s roster heading into the 2021 season.
The Pirates will look to maintain the pace they had established early on in 2020 this year.