The East Carolina University women’s lacrosse team took it to Saint Francis University on Sunday to get a 16-8 win at home in Johnson Stadium. ECU has won three straight games for the first time in the two years the team has been around.
“Overall, I thought we had a great team win,” head coach Amanda Barnes-Moore said in a press release. “I thought this was the most complete game that we have played, from top to bottom and from start to finish, so far this season which was a goal coming into this game.”
Just like their last game against Delaware State University (0-1), the Pirates (5-1) took an early lead, thanks to sophomore attacker Brittany Borchers scoring the first two goals. Both were unassisted and shortly after, sophomore attacker Ally Stanton scored on a free position shot to make the score 3-0.
Saint Francis (0-4) tried to follow up the ECU lead with some goals of its own. That resulted in the score being 4-2 with 15 minutes left in the first half.
Even with a two goal lead early on in the first half, the Pirates continued to increase that lead putting more pressure on their opponent to score. Thanks to four unanswered goals, the Pirates sat at a 7-2 cushion at halftime. Returning from the half, a Saint Francis penalty led to freshman midfielder Camryn Pennypacker extending the ECU lead to six after getting a successful free position shot to make the score 8-2 early in the second half.
SFU quickly answered with an unassisted goal, but a feed by freshman attacker Hannah Rzempoluch to sophomore midfielder Nicole LeGar led to another Pirate score. Junior attacker Emma Bowman had an unassisted goal, followed by another Rzempoluch to LeGar goal. ECU jumped out to a 11-3 lead with 18:34 left in the game.
The Red Flash began to battle back, with two goals within a minute of each other, causing a Pirate timeout and a glimmer of hope for Saint Francis. Saint Francis’ sophomore attacker/midfielder Paige Brady showed much needed leadership scoring two goals to put them within three goals of the Pirates.
Though the Red Flash surge in offense seemed daunting, the Pirates were more than up to the challenge. Starting with LeGar winning the draw, ECU began to reassert its offensive dominance. Bowman, the American Athletic Conference midfielder of the week, made sure to keep the Pirates on top with a goal assisted by Pennypacker.
Continued offense helped ECU fend off the Red Flash attack, with less than five minutes left in the game. The Pirates scored three more goals to give them a more than comfortable lead. The score was 15-7 with two minutes left on the clock. Saint Francis had an unassisted goal with a minute left, but it was quickly followed by sophomore midfielder Megan Pallozzi’s goal to end the game, 16-8.
Goaltending was a key factor in the game with sophomore goalkeeper Christina White having 10 saves. White is the reigning defensive player of the week in the AAC and played an important role in the Pirate victory. On the other hand, Saint Francis had three different keepers in goal throughout the game, combining for eight saves between the three of them.
Another essential factor for the ECU win was the amount of shots the Pirates put on goal. ECU had a 24-18 advantage over its opponents, with LeGar leading the charge with nine shots and three goals.
The Pirates will be away in Lynchburg, Virginia on Wednesday as they will take on Liberty University. The game is scheduled to start at 4 pm.