GREENVILLE, N.C. - Junior Caty Butler netted a pair of goals and Christiane Cordero recorded her third career shutout as East Carolina blanked instate rival UNC Wilmington 2-0 Thursday night at the ECU Soccer Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 2-1, while the Seahawks drop to 1-1 on the young season.
Butler staked the Pirates to an early 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of play firing a shot from 21 yards out that beat UNCW keeper Caitlin Hunter. Leah Bagonis was credited with an assist on the play.
The Butler-Bagonis tandem produced the second goal in the 61st minute extending the led to 2-0. Bagonis found Butler with a through ball that allowed Butler to get behind UNCW’s defense and beat Hunter for her third strike of the season.
”Caty has been on fire lately for us,” said head coach Rob Donnenwirth referring to her three goals in the last two matches. “The biggest difference with her this year has been her fitness. She used to be able to play at a high level in spurts her first two years for us, but now she is just everywhere on the field.
”Tonight we had good team speed and got a lot of numbers forward. I think the biggest difference tonight was our possession, especially in the first half. In the second half UNC Wilmington came out a lot stronger and made sure we couldn’t posses the ball and forced and a lot of long shots. When we get the ball in the midfield and have runners going, we’re going to be tough to stop.”
Amanda Holmes’ shot off the crossbar in the 65th minute was the Seahawks’ best chance to get on the board.
ECU held a 16-6 advantage in shots during the contest and enjoyed a 4-2 edge in corner kicks taken. Hunter recorded eight saves for the Seahawks while Cordero made one stop for the Pirates to record her first shutout of the season.
The Pirates will be back on the pitch Sunday evening when they play host to UNC Greensboro at 6 p.m. (ET).