The East Carolina University women’s soccer team’s two game winning streak ended on Sunday when the team lost on the road to American Athletic Conference opponent No. 25 University of South Florida.
The loss drops the Pirates to 5-7-2 on the season and 2-4 in conference. This was the team’s final road game before it closes out the regular season with three home matches.
The Pirates started the game strong, as the defense held the Bulls scoreless for most of the half, until USF scored off a cross with less than two minutes to go until halftime. The Bulls came alive early in the second half, scoring two goals in one minute.
Pirate head coach Jason Hamilton noted the energy displayed by USF, and wants the Pirate to play with more urgency and consistency moving forward.
“USF had much more energy than we did the entire game and the amount of first and second balls they beat us to never really gave us a chance,” Hamilton said per ecupirates.com. “It was a disappointing game all around. I've said it time and time again that good teams are consistent and we are not at that point yet. We have to find a way to play good in both games on the weekend and not just one game well, which has been the case so far throughout conference play."
USF dominated the game in the statistical categories, edging the Pirates 20-6 in shots and 7-1 in corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper Melanie Stiles notched six saves for the Pirates. Senior Erin Bradley took over for Stiles in the goal for the final seven and a half minutes of the game.
As the Pirates head into their final three games of the season, they will look to shake off the loss on the road and finish the season strong. Hamilton made sure his starters got some rest in the loss, and gave some new faces playing time.
"If we can take a positive away from it, it was that we gave some players some minutes who had not yet played much in a game as well as resting those who we have been playing a lot,” Hamilton said per ecupirates.com.
The Pirates return to action on Thursday as the host the University of Connecticut at Johnson Stadium at 7 p.m.