ECU Soccer Advances To First-Ever C-USA Title Game

HOUSTON, Texas - Overtime play is nothing new for the East Carolina soccer team. The top-seeded Pirates delivered again in the first extra session, taking advantage of an own goal to defeat Colorado College, 2-1, Friday in the semifinals of the 2008 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship at Rice Soccer Stadium. The Pirates improve to 14-3-4 on the season while the Tigers end their campaign at 13-7-2.

East Carolina possessed the ball much of the first half, but it was Colorado College which broke onto the scoreboard first. The Tigers won a free kick that Molly Uyenishi put into the box. Pirate keeper and senior Amber Campbell snagged the rebound initially, but lost it at the last second and Lauren Talbot was there to slot the ball into the empty net for a 1-0 Colorado College lead.

However, ECU responded right back, winning a corner just under two minutes later. Alexis Foltz took the kick and found Jessica Swanson, who deflected the ball to freshman Jessica Woodward. Woodward then powered the ball into the open left side of the net to tie the game. The contest would sit 1-1 at the half.

The Tigers held a slight 6-5 advantage in shots in the the first stanza while the teams played a clean interval, combining for a total of just three fouls. Each keeper also made two saves.

Colorado College came out determined in the second half, just missing on multiple attempts at the goal. The Pirates also had their chances, but no one could convert as the game went into the extra periods.

After the squads played the ball through the midfield to start the first overtime, ECU freshman Rachel Fuller took a touch to the right side of the box and crossed the ball. Wilcox then deflected the ball off a defender and past Caitlin Hulyo, securing a Pirate trip to the Championship Game.

"That was just a phenomenal soccer match," head coach Rob Donnenwirth explained. "We played so well in the first half but we knew Colorado College would come out on fire in the second half. There was a lot of end-to-end soccer out there today and we came out on top. I am so proud of our ladies."

East Carolina now awaits the winner of the second semifinal between No. 2 Memphis and No. 3 UCF. The Championship Game of the 2008 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The match will be nationally televised from the Rice Soccer Stadium by CBS College Sports.

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