Pirate women’s soccer blanks George Mason

Published 1:43 pm Saturday, August 30, 2014

ECU Athletic Media Relations

FAIRFAX, Va. — Freshman striker Courtney Taybron and junior forward Kendall Frey each scored their first goals of the season, while redshirt junior goalkeeper Saundra Baron made five saves as the East Carolina women’s soccer team picked up a 2-0 road victory over George Mason on Friday evening.

The shutout was the second in a row for the Pirates, who defeated Western Carolina, 1-0, on its home turf last Sunday. ECU has now recorded back-to-back shutout victories at least once in each of the last three seasons.

“I am proud of the team’s performance tonight,” head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. “Everyone played with a lot of confidence.”

East Carolina (2-1) and George Mason (0-3) both had their fair share of scoring chances in the first half, but it was the Patriots who were the early aggressors after taking four shots and earning as many corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of the match.

“We had to be mentally tough in the first 10 minutes, as George Mason came out hard,” Donnenwirth said. “I felt we were able to turn the momentum in our favor and it was a team effort.”

The Pirates began to apply pressure for much of the remainder of the half, before senior Brett Thomas placed a ball onto the foot of Taybron from the left side of the midfield, where she finished a shot into corner of the net and put ECU ahead by one in the 43rd minute.

East Carolina edged George Mason, 7-6, in the shots column through the first 45 minutes, while the Patriots held a 4-3 advantage in corner kick chances.

ECU remained on the attack to start the second half, taking three shots and a corner kick within the first 13 minutes, two of which were blocked and one that was saved.

As George Mason attempted to find an equalizer, the Pirates continued to create scoring chances and put the game away in the 83rd minute when junior Stephanie Seagrave hit Frey with a pass from eight feet in front of the opposition’s net and hammered a shot into the corner for her first goal of the year.

The assist was Seagrave’s second in as many games, as the Uxbridge, Mass., native recorded her first point of the season on a set-piece cross that led to Jenna Geist’s game-winner in Cullowhee, N.C., just five days prior.

Frey led all players with three shots in the match and sophomore striker Lana Spitler added two, as nine Pirates recorded at least one shot on the night.

ECU and George Mason finished the game with 12 shots apiece, as the Patriots owned a 7-5 edge in corner kicks. Baron made a season-high five saves in her ninth-career shutout and second of the young season.

East Carolina will conclude its three-game road swing in Florence, S.C., on Monday, Sept. 1 against Francis Marion. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.