Casey Sullivan

Freshman midfielder Casey Sullivan during the Women's Lacrosse game against Delware State.

Starting out as a brand new athletic program this past spring, the East Carolina University lacrosse team has had a difficult time getting on its feet. The Pirates have a record of 2-10, just recently snapping an eight-game losing streak against Delaware State University on Saturday, 16-2.

Having a youthful team hurts the lacrosse team, but this is a problem with no solution beyond more playing time and recruiting in its first off-season. Most of the team is comprised of freshmen with the exception of two sophomores, one junior and one senior out of the total 27 girls. Obviously freshmen don’t start from day one in collegiate programs, but that isn’t an option for ECU.

The Pirates have constantly been outscored by opponents, trailing by a combined 71 points in their losses, an average of 8.2 goals per game. Their biggest loss was on March 17 against Columbia University, falling by 12 goals (18-6).

I believe the defense needs to be reevaluated for ECU since it hasn’t proven an ability to execute, which is not the sole factor for the losses, but is something that stands out. On several occasions throughout the season, the Pirates’ defense has sat back and waited for opposing offenses to attack, when it should actually be hustling after them to try and gain possession or make blocks when possible. Also the defense often attempts to double team opponents, but has a problem with the other defenders not sliding over to play help defense.

Continuing the list of necessary improvements for this young team is its shooting ability, or lack thereof. Even though the team is starting to attempt more shots, they are still failing to put the ball in the net, possibly because of poor angles or inconsistent shots. It is great for them to get there, but finishing will obviously lead to more Pirates’ wins.

The last area of improvement is in net at goalie. In ECU’s second game against Winthrop, 17 of the Eagle’s 28 shots were goals, a 60 percent conversion rate. In total, if the Pirates continue to let up goals at such an alarming rate, they will never give themselves a chance to win down the stretch. But when the defense is actually up to the task, it’s clear ECU does have some fire power on its team.

In their most recent game against DSU, the Pirates came out victorious in a crushing 16-2 game. The team won more draw controls, committed less turnovers and put more shots on goal than the Hornets, a recipe for success. The Pirates need to keep this kind of play to keep up the winning.

Looking to start its first winning streak of the season on Friday, ECU will take on Drexel University at noon in Johnson Stadium.

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