ECU women’s soccer blanks Davidson

Published 1:24 pm Saturday, September 6, 2014

ECU Athletic Media Relations

GREENVILLE — Brianna and Lana Spitler each scored a goal in the second half and East Carolina shut out its opponent for the fourth straight game en route to a 2-0 victory over Davidson Friday evening at Johnson Stadium.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Saundra Baron made three saves in the match to preserve her fourth-straight and 11th-career shutout, extending opponents’ scoreless streak to 381-consecutive minutes.

“Players came off the bench and really gave us a spark tonight,” head coach Rob Donnenwirth said. “You need a complete team effort, and while I don’t think we were at out 100-percent best tonight, I thought we had some good performances.”

The first 45 minutes of play went by relatively quiet despite physical play from both teams. ECU put together numerous scoring opportunities, perhaps none better than sophomore Jenna Geist’s shot off the crossbar following an Autumn Berry corner kick in the 30th minute.

The Pirates also put together three-consecutive corner kicks in the waning minutes of the period, but the Wildcats’ goalkeeper Rachel Locke made three saves to keep the match scoreless at halftime.

East Carolina held a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks and outshot Davidson, 6-2, in the half. Junior striker Kendall Frey took three shots, two of which were on goal, while Geist had a pair of attempts as well.

“I thought we did some good things in terms of possession in the first half, but we didn’t have the killer instinct,” Donnenwirth said. “We created a lot of chances, but I told them that if you’re playing well, you have to score goals.”

The Pirates remained relentless in their pursuit of breaking the stalemate, putting together a couple good scoring chances within the first 12 minutes of the second half. They finally broke through in the 69th minute when Frey collected a loose ball in the box with her back to the opposing goal and touched a soft pass across the goal box to a wide open Brianna Spitler who hit a shot that got a piece of a Wildcat defender, but continued on and into the bottom left corner of the net for her first goal of the season.

Frey, who earned an assist on the play, has now recorded at least one point in three-straight games, amassing a team-best five total points during that span. The Chester Springs, Pa., native totaled a team-high four shots, three of which were on goal, in 83 minutes of field time.

ECU was not satisfied with just one goal, as Davidson grew anxious in an attempt to find an equalizer. In the 84th minute, Stephanie Seagrave passed a ball through the Wildcats’ midfield that found Lana Spitler on the near side of the goal box, where she had a one-on-one matchup with a defender.

The Montoursville, Pa., used some footwork to get the defender out of place the ball onto her right foot before launching a shot that caught the inside of the far right goal post and coasted across the nylon netting for her second goal of the season and put the Pirates ahead, 2-0.

Seagrave’s assist was her team-leading third on the year, all of which have come during the team’s four-game winning streak.

“We’ve been talking about scoring more goals this year,” Donnenwirth said. “We want to score two goals every game because, when you do that, your winning percentage goes up greatly. We’ve always been a great defensive team so that’s been just as important to us.”

ECU outshot Davidson, 12-4, on the night and held a 10-1 overall edge in corner kicks.

East Carolina will look to keep its winning and shutout streaks alive at home on Sunday, Sept. 7 when it hosts Elon at 2 p.m.