The East Carolina University (6-7-1, 1-2-1 American Athletic Conference) soccer team took on Temple University (4-4-3, 1-3-0 AAC) on Oct. 7 and was able to earn its first conference win of the season with a final score of 2-1.
The Pirates fought back from a 1-0 deficit in the first half and scored two unanswered goals to grab their second win in a row. ECU held possession of the ball for 66% of the game, mostly due to a strong second half
"I think a tale of two halves," head coach Jason Hamilton said. "I don't think we played great. We gave up a goal on an error and I think we kind of felt sorry for ourselves in that first half and that was really the big thing. We just looked like we didn't feel too good about ourselves for about a 20-minute stretch after that goal. Then we were able to get a goal late at the end of the first half and I think that really kind of regrouped them.”
The first half started slow, but as the game went on, both teams exchanged shots on goal and saves by the keeper. Temple was the first to break the 0-0 tie.
With 27 minutes left in the first half, the Owls were able to get on the board with a score from Temple’s junior forward Emily Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh fought with graduate student defender Kim Sanford and freshman midfielder Peyton Godbey to get the open shot to the top left of the goal and bring the score to 1-0.
For the next 15 minutes of the half, ECU and Temple continued to exchange shots and aggressive offensive pushes. Redshirt senior defender Morgan Dewey managed to get a shot on goal during these exchanges, but it was saved by the Temple goalkeeper.
The Owls also made a threatening attempt on the goal with 10 minutes remaining in the half when the ball was volleyed between several Temple players within the ECU goalie box. Pirate sophomore goalkeeper Maeve English was able to get the save however.
With 3:30 left in the half, ECU graduate student midfielder Alexia Moore took a deep shot on the goal off an inbound pass from senior defender Addison Salz. The ball hit the crossbar, but didn’t make it into the net. However, the Pirates were able to capitalize shortly after.
With 2:40 left in the half, Dewey found an opportunity with the ball and crossed it to freshman forward Samantha Moxie for the goal to tie the game at 1-1. The first half ended with the tied score.
The second half started out with a shot on goal by Dewy that fell short of the net. The Pirates pushed for a goal to put them in the lead as both teams continued to fight to keep the ball on their opponents side of the field.
Less than 20 minutes into the half Temple graduate student defender Marissa DiGenova made an attempted shot on goal during a penalty kick. However, English was able to make the save keeping the score tied at 1-1.
The Pirates kept their pressure on Temple’s defense with multiple attempted shots on goal, keeping the ball off their side of the field for the majority of the first 20 minutes of the half.
In the 67th minute of the game, ECU graduate student forward Tori Riggs was able to get the ball in the net with an assist from sophomore midfielder Sydney Schnell, breaking the tie and putting the Pirates up 2-1. The Owls took the ball down field shortly after and attempted a shot on goal that was saved by English.
With less than 10 minutes in the half, ECU continued to push against The Owls’ defense. Freshman midfielder Holly Schlagel took a hard shot on goal but the ball narrowly missed the net and passed over the top of the crossbar.
The Pirates’ defense fought to keep Temple from scoring, allowing the Pirates to stay ahead by one for the rest of the game.
“They had some conversations on their own at halftime. We walked in and told them where we needed to be better and then it came out in the second half where I thought we were much better,” Hamilton said.
English finished with four saves and allowed a single goal. The Pirates put up a total of four shots on goal in comparison to Temple’s five, however, ECU was able to finish with more on the scoreboard and finish 2-1
The Pirates will return to the field as they travel to Houston, Texas to play against the University of Houston (10-2-2, 2-0-1 AAC) I on Oct. 10. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.