GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU Sports Information) – An early lead helped the ECU lacrosse team cruise to its program-record fourth-straight victory as the Pirates handled Longwood 12-7 on Wednesday afternoon in Johnson Stadium.
ECU improves to 4-1 on the season and the Pirates have now won consecutive games against teams they had been unable to defeat during their first two seasons. Longwood falls to 1-3 on the year.
Last season, when the two teams met in Farmville, it was Longwood who took an early lead on the way to a 15-8 win. In this year’s edition, ECU flipped the script by taking the lead just 38 seconds into the game and never looking back.
ECU’s fast start came courtesy of Nicole LeGar, who not only won the opening draw for the Pirates, but bagged the opening goal as well. The Pirates extended their lead to 3-0 through Ally Stanton, who grabbed goals at the 26:49 and 19:47 marks.
Longwood finally got on the scoreboard with 16:18 left in the first-half when Kaylen Karnes scored a goal as Longwood had a man-advantage. But ECU responded, with LeGar getting a free-position goal and then MacKell Schultes scoring when ECU had a man-advantage of its own. Kailtin Lucarelli scored for Longwood with 5:51 left in the first-half, but ECU finished the opening 30 minutes with two more goals, one each from Megan Pallozzi and Megan Tryniski. That made it 7-2 at the halftime break.
Stanton came rocketing out of the locker room, scoring two goals in the opening minute of the second half. That gave her four goals on the day and put ECU up 9-2, its biggest lead of the day.
After Stanton’s opening salvo, neither team could get much momentum going in the second half. The two teams combined for seven yellow cards in the final 30 minutes, which further hurt the flow of the game.
Longwood’s best chance at a comeback was putting its offense on the shoulders of Luccarrelli, who delivered with three goals in the second stanza to give her four goals of her own. But ECU made sure that the Lancers were never able to string together more than two goals in a row.
The closest Longwood got to ECU was at 11-7 when Claire Libby scored on a free-position shot with 5:55 to go. However, LeGar got the ensuing draw control and the Pirates’ offensive possession led to an Ellie Bromley goal with Stanton picking up the assist, restoring a five-goal cushion. Bromley’s tally stood as the final score of the game as the Pirates forced a pair of Longwood turnovers to close the win out.
ECU finished with a 38-21 advantage in shots, a slight 11-10 edge in draw controls and picked up 16 ground balls to 10 for Longwood. The Pirates shot 5-of-10 on free-position shots and went 18-of-22 on clears while Longwood was 3-of-9 from the eight-meter arc and 20-of-26 on clears.
Stanton led the Pirates with five points on four goals and an assist while LeGar and Pallozzi each had a pair of goals. Schultes finished with a goal and two assists while Tryniski had a goal and a helper of her own. LeGar had six of ECU’s 11 draw controls and Pallozzi picked up a team-high three ground balls. Ashley Vernon tied her career-high with nine saves in the cage.
The Pirates will try to extend their winning streak even further when they head to Richmond to take on VCU. That contest is scheduled for 1 p.m., on Sunday afternoon.