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Pirate lacrosse opens with victory

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East Carolina's Emma Bowman, right, and Winthrop's Megan Dee go up for the ball during a game on Feb. 8, 2019. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Friday, February 8, 2019

East Carolina women’s lacrosse showed the savvy of a team that is used to winning close games in its season opener on Friday, but in reality, its cliffhanger 13-12 triumph over visiting Winthrop was just the third win in ECU history.

The second season of the sport at the school started with a bang, or a few of them, when the Pirates (1-0) saw their first half lead dissipate into a second half deficit. ECU, however, broke a 10-10 tie on Nicole Legar’s second goal of the game, then Brittany Borchers rammed home two more to make it 13-11 and offset one last tally by the Eagles (0-1) with 4 seconds left.

“It’s exciting for our players to have your first game be a win on your home field, but to just see us kind of fight for 60 minutes was exciting,” ECU coach Amanda Barnes-Moore said of the win, which marks the first-ever winning record in the team’s young history and the first win against Winthrop, which topped the Pirates by eight goals last season.

The hosts rode hat trick performances from Ally Stanton and Megan Pollozzi in addition to the two-goal outings from Borchers (three assists) and Legar. Hanna Rzempoluch notched a goal and three assists and was particularly active in helping her team build a 7-3 lead in the first half that eventually was overturned into a 9-7 deficit.

When the Pirates were clicking, however, they exuded some serious potential for scoring. At the other end, ECU defended well in front goalkeeper Christina White, who made 10 saves.

“It was great to see the versatility of our offense, from the number of scoring threats that we had, but also from the dodge and the feed looks,” said Barnes-Moore, whose team amassed eight total assists. “To see the composure and the discipline we had to tackle back defensively to make some tough, long stands to give our offense the ball back was really positive and really encouraging moving forward in our season.”

Goals by Pallozzi, Liz Blumthal and Rzempoluch staked the Pirates a 3-0 lead, and it was 7-3 after Stanton stashed her third goal with still 15:04 to play in the opening half.

After that, however, ECU fell completely silent until Pallozzi’s third of the game, which made it 9-8 Winthrop with 18:50 left in the second half. After Legar tied it at 9-9, Camryn Pennypacker’s goal briefly gave the Pirates a 10-9 edge.

“Ir really did come down to a full 60 minutes, and that was something we echoed at halftime,” Barnes-Moore said. “We had to make some adustments defensively, and anytime you’ve got long defensive sets, your offense starts to feel a little rushed on their possessions. We had to remind them to just stay connected with the game plan and with each other.” 

Mia Creighton bagged a game-high four goals for Winthrop, and the Eagles got two apiece from Lauren Asher, Ellie Marindin and Lauren Morris (three assists).

The Pirates return to action on Sunday when they host Gardner-Webb at 1 p.m.

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.

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ECU

February 17, 2019

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February 17, 2019

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The Pirates hit just one field goal in the opening eight minutes against Tulsa and trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half before storming back and…

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February 17, 2019

Facing cold temperatures and an early deficit at Clark-LeClair Stadium, there were times Sunday when things could have gotten away from East Carolina’s baseball team.

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February 17, 2019

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February 16, 2019

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February 16, 2019

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February 15, 2019

A total of 21 runs by East Carolina powered the Pirates to a college baseball opening day sweep of Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday.

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February 15, 2019

CATCHER

Jake Washer, junior: Washer is back as East Carolina’s starting catcher after receiving Major League Baseball draft interest following his breakout sophomore season. In addition to showing power with six home runs and 40 RBIs a year ago, Washer posted a smooth .287 batting average.…

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February 15, 2019

Equipped with All-American Bryant Packard ready to serve again as East Carolina’s leadoff man in the batting order and a stable of proven pitchers who battled during the preseason for lead rotation spots, ECU is ready to face an opponent and begin a new season.

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February 15, 2019

WEEKEND ROTATION

FRIDAY

Alec Burleson, sophomore: Burleson will be a frequent player at designated hitter and first base in the lineup, but his main focus in the season opener versus Radford will be on the pitcher’s mound. The left-hander, who was the American Athletic Conference rookie…

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