After a three-game win streak, East Carolina University soccer (4-3, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) was shut out on Sept. 9 by No. 5 Duke University (6-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) with a final score of 5-0.
The five goals scored on the Pirates were the most by any team this season, and Duke has been the only team to shutout ECU this season. Head coach Jason Hamilton said the Pirates will go back and watch film to look at a few mistakes.
"Obviously Duke is a very tough opponent and the reason they are ranked fifth in the country," Hamilton said, according to ECUPirates. "I do think that when we go back and watch the game, our team will be a little disappointed in some of the things we were not good at. Some of the controllable things that had nothing to do with how good our opponent was and more that we were not disciplined in details that help you be in the game."
The Blue Devils opened up the scoreboard early, scoring the first goal in the fifth minute of the game, and then again in the seventh minute. Sophomore defender Emily Royson gave an assist to senior midfielder Mackenzie Pluck for the first goal and the second was put in by freshman forward Michelle Cooper off a long pass from Pluck to make the score 2-0.
ECU was able to get a few shot attempts on the goal in response, but each of them were saved by the keeper. Towards the end of the half, senior forward Marykate McGuire put in the third goal for Duke in the 41st minute. In the 43rd minute, Duke was given a free kick and graduate student defender Caitlin Cosme turned the opportunity into another goal for the Blue Devils. The first half ended 4-0.
During the second half, ECU upped their defense and held Duke to only a single goal. In the 88th minute, sophomore forward Grace Watkins sent a pass over to McGuire for the final score of the game. Hamilton said the challenge of the Blue Devils will help the Pirates down the road.
"There's a reason why we put games like this on our schedule so we can grow and get better as a team," Hamilton said. "I think a lot of our young players will learn that the moment cannot be too big and it's just another game."
Sophomore goalkeeper for the Pirates Maeve English allowed five goals, but collected five saves as well.
The Pirates will travel to play William & Mary (1-4, 0-0 Colonial Athletic Association) on Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. at Tribe's Martin Family Stadium.