The East Carolina University Pirates women’s soccer team may not have left Florence with booty on Sunday, Sept. 18, but they did leave with a victory after defeating the FMU women’s soccer team, 2-0.
FMU women’s soccer head coach Joel Person knew the potential challenges the Pirates represented for his club.
“ECU is a solid team with a lot of depth off the bench,” Person said. “They have been very solid defensively.”
Person said that he knew that this particular match would be a challenge and give him a good gauge of where his team is.
ECU scored the first goal of the match at the 6:26 mark. After a corner kick by senior forward/midfielder Kimmy Cummings, junior midfielder/ forward Caty Butler connected on a header that rebounded off the crossbar. The ball then went to the feet of senior forward Leah Bagonis who knocked in a shot from five yards away.
Bagonis and teammate Rachel Wechsler assisted on the second Pirates goal, a 12-yard shot by Butler.
In the 74th minute, Sophomore forward Yasmin Bunter’s corner kick began a 30-second sequence where ECU was unable to clear the ball out of the 18-yard box; FMU threatened near the net but was unable to get off a shot.
Realizing the effective attack of ECU and the youth of her own club, Patriots junior defenseman/forward Rebeccah Hoekstra saw the game as a measuring stick.
“The game had a lot of meaning for us,” Hoekstra said. “We defended really well, but our offense just missed the mark, and we didn’t capitalize on the situations we created.”
Hoekstra also said that one of the messages Coach Person has been preaching to his team is not overthinking during goal opportunities.
“We’re still trying to get our offense the way we want it to be,” Hoekstra said.
The victory boosts the Pirates’ record to 5-1-1, while the loss for the Patriots drops them to a mark of 3-6-1.
As a team, ECU outshot FMU 16-2. The Pirates also led the game in corner kicks over the Patriots, 7-4.
The loss was the third straight defeat for the FMU women’s soccer team. Only two home games remain for the women’s club. The next one will be the Oct. 17 match vs. St. Andrews Presbyterian College.