HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina soccer tasted defeat for the first time in 13 matches on Sunday as the Memphis Tigers won their second consecutive C-USA Tournament Championship with a 4-1 win. The Pirates fall to 14-4-4 on the season while Memphis improves to 15-4-2 overall, clinching the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in the process.
The Tigers came out with offensive pressure, recording the first 10 shots of the contest. Memphis broke through when Laura Laufenberg took a chance inside the box and slotted it in to give her team a 1-0 advantage. Kylie Hayes gave her team a 2-0 lead 16 minutes later, when she followed up on a shot deflected off the Pirate defense.
the Tigers out-shot ECU 13-1 in the first stanza while they also earned more corner kicks, four as compared to the Pirates' one. Senior Amber Campbell made one save off of three shots on goal by Memphis.
The second half was more of the same, with the Tigers putting pressure on the East Carolina net. Memphis increased its advantage to 3-0 when Vendula Strnadova cashed in on a rebound inside the six-yard box. Senior Madison Keller pulled a goal back for the Pirates in the 65th minute when she headed the ball in off of a Savanna Russo throw, making the score 3-1. Ashley Berra added one final tally for the Tigers when she touched the ball past Campbell and rolled it into the open net.
Keller, sophomore Bailey Wilcox and freshman Jessica Woodward were named to the All-Tournament Team for their efforts during the 2008 Conference USA Women's Soccer Championship.