Grace Doran

Redshirt sophomore midfielder Grace Doran.

This past Sunday, the East Carolina University women’s soccer team traveled to Lexington, Virginia beating its opponent, the Virginia Military Institute, 3-0.

The Pirates have now improved their record once again to 2-2-1 while VMI drops down to 1-4-0 for this season.

“Overall we are happy with two road wins and two shutouts,” head coach Jason Hamilton said. “Getting a couple of wins under our belt will hopefully give us some confidence heading back home. Sunday games are very tough and we are very proud of the effort put forth today. Our decision-making and discipline is an area we can improve going forward in order to have success in the AAC.”

The Pirates played much like how they did against University of North Carolina at Asheville. They were able to build up momentum in the first half with an opening goal that led them to be able to completely take control in the second, opening the gates for scoring.

Redshirt sophomore midfielder Grace Doran opened the scoring for the Pirates as she would send a long range shot from outside the box into the back of the net. The pass came from sophomore defense Maycie McDougal at the top of the 18 and Doran sent her shot into the upper 90 past the Keydet goalkeeper giving ECU a 1-0 lead at the 26 minute mark.

Doran’s second goal came just over five minutes into the second half. Doran received a pass from junior midfielder Alexia Moore behind the VMI defense and was off to the races on a breakaway. She was able to lift her shot up over the keeper into the upper left corner creating a 2-0 advantage for the Pirates.

ECU’s final goal came late in the second half, in the 81 minute mark. Junior forward Tori Riggs sent a ball into the box from the right side of the pitch and was able to connect with freshman midfielder Sophia Denmark, who sent a low shot into the net. This would be Riggs’ first goal of her collegiate career.

“With all the injuries we are dealing with, we had to play some less experienced players,” Hamilton added. “This weekend was good for us to get them some minutes and hopefully shake their nerves before facing a handful of top-25 teams down the road.”

The Pirates had a 19-12 advantage in shots over the Keydets and also had eight corner kicks to their five. Redshirt junior Melanie Stiles played the majority of the game (78:01), making four saves. Sophomore goalkeeper Meaghan Haley was able to finish the shutout playing the remaining 11:59 in the match. VMI freshman goalkeeper Noelle Heilpern had eight saves of her own as well.

The Pirates will be back home after nearly three weeks when they will host Old Dominion University on Thursday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. inside Johnson Stadium.

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