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Pirates shut down Camels

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East Carolina's Jenna Dages, right, kicks the ball during their game against Radford on August 19, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Aaron Jackson
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The East Carolina women’s soccer team shook off its first loss of the season last week with a 2-0 shutout over Campbell on Thursday night in Johnson Stadium.

ECU defenders Jayda Hylton-Pelaia and Kim Sanford provided a goal in each half, but it was just another step in the process in the eyes of head coach Jason Hamilton.

“We got some players some rest for Sunday,” Hamilton said when asked about what he liked about the game. “Most coaches might look at those stats and see a 2-0 win, and I’m never satisfied and I want our girls to never be satisfied, so we’ve got to strive for better.”

The Pirates (4-1-2) went on the attack early with redshirt freshman midfielder Grace Doran and junior forward Jenna Dages failing on two shots and earning a corner kick in the second minute. In the 27th, the Pirates nearly scored when the Camels’ goalie got caught outside the box. With one pass being off target, ECU failed to capitalize on Campbell’s miscue.

Junior defender Hylton-Pelaia dribbled the ball through Campbell’s defenders to score the game's first goal with 26 minutes left in the first half. The strike from the Hylton-Pelaia was her first goal of her career. Though she’s a defender she believes she is a dual threat.

“I think I bring both defense and offense to the game,” Hylton-Pelaia said. “I’m good when I can attack and then get back on defense to help the team.”

The Pirates’ stout defense held the Camels scoreless in the first half, leaving the score 1-0 ECU. While ECU had seven shots on goal and five corner kicks, Campbell had only one shot on goal to end the half.

Early in the second half, ECU redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Melanie Stiles was shaken up after she collided with Campbell attackers on a free kick. Campbell junior forward Alexa Genas went on the attack and nearly gave the game an equalizer in the 58th minute with a shot that bounced off the crossbar behind ECU’s keeper.

Sophomore Sanford put the nail in the coffin for the Pirates with a breakaway goal, putting the Pirates up 2-0. Sanford took pride in sealing the game for ECU.

“It definitely felt really good because we had been pushing all game and definitely dominated the game,” Sanford said. “The goal helped us regroup, get better defensively and go on to win the game.”

Camels senior goalkeeper Erin Scott had a nice save in the 73rd minute that almost put ECU up another score. In the 88th minute, Genas threatened to score again for the Camels but it was thwarted by Melanie Stiles with a save.

The Pirates finished the game with 12 shots on goal and five corners, compared to the Camels five SOG and four corners. Stiles had four saves for the Pirates to complete the shutout.

The first-year squad of coaches for the Pirates led by Hamilton captured its fourth win of the season. Campbell (1-5) is now scoreless in its last five games. ECU leads the all-time series against Campbell, 12-4-1.

The Pirates next will face UNC Charlotte at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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