DENTON, Texas – The East Carolina soccer team battled back for a 2-2 draw with North Texas on Sunday afternoon. After trailing 2-0 at the half, the Pirates came roaring back in the second half to earn the crucial conference point.
Despite the Pirates (9-3-5, 4-1-3 AAC) dominating play early in the game, sometimes it just takes one moment in soccer and that’s what happened in the 15th minute when Maeve English mishandled a pass and in trying to recover possession, inadvertently fouled a North Texas player in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Mean Green (8-4-3, 2-3-3 AAC). Jenna Sheely took it from the spot and finished coolly to the lower left for the 1-0 lead. It was the first penalty conceded by the Pirates since the season opener against Florida.
The Mean Green struck again in the 42nd minute on a breakout when Bree Korta’s pass opened up the ECU defense and Mia Bernard was able to finish to the bottom right of the goal.
Credit to North Texas keeper Maddie Ogden is greatly due as she was fantastic in the first half. Ogden made three saves in the first 45 including a timely one on a Catherine Holbrook header just before the UNT goal at the end of the first half.
The Pirates came out of the halftime break pressing all out and were finally able to get on the board when Samantha Moxie scored a scrappy goal in the 74th minute. Moxie stayed with the play as the ball bounced around and was eventually able to strike from the left side of the six to the far post and past Ogden.
Just minutes later in the 77th minute, a botched clearance for North Texas resulted in a handball and a penalty for the Pirates. Abby Sowa stepped to the spot and was able to score it to the right side when Ogden guessed wrong on the shot as the ECU leveled the score for good.
- Abby Sowa converted her second penalty of the season on three attempts.
- Both goalkeepers earned their keep in the game with 11 combined saves as the offenses fired 30 total shots in the contest.
- With South Florida winning, the Pirates will need some help Thursday. But the division is still up for grabs and an ECU win over Charlotte paired with a South Florida loss would give the Pirates the division.
The Pirates conclude the regular season at 7 p.m. on Thursday as they host Charlotte in Johnson Stadium for Senior Day.