MEMPHIS, TENN. (ECU) – Against one of the most potent offenses in the conference, the ECU women’s soccer team lost in overtime to the Memphis Tigers by the score of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
“Our girls fought hard against a very good Memphis team today on the road,” said head coach Jason Hamilton. “To have the game affected the way it was is gut wrenching. Definitely not the outcome our players deserved.”
ECU (5-3-2) knew Memphis had one of the top offenses in the American conference, but during the first half, the Pirates were able to stifle the Tiger’ firepower. During the opening stanza, Memphis took ten shots, but ECU made sure very few of those were clean looks as only three were on goal.
“Memphis created a lot of chances, but our team did an excellent job of blocking shots and battling for
crosses,” Hamilton said. “We raised the level of our physicality, which was great to see.”
On the other end, ECU took only three shots, but made them count. The Pirates took the lead just before halftime on one of those attempts. ECU worked the ball to Daria Draovitch who had space on the right wing. Draovitch played a low cross into the Memphis box and Cashlin Copley was there to slam it home for her first goal of the season.
Coming out of the locker room with the lead, ECU was once again weathering the pressure from the Memphis offense. But with just over 20 minutes remaining, an unlucky bounce turned the tide. On a Memphis cross, the ball took a bounce off an ECU player and hit a Pirate hand, causing the referee to signal for a penalty kick. Jessica Lisi was able to convert the spot kick to tie the score.
Neither team could take the lead during the final portion of regulation, sending the game to overtime. It did not take long for the Tigers to score in the extra period. Clarissa Larisey passed to Samantha Murphy in the ECU box and Murphy scored to end the contest.
Memphis finished with a 24-7 edge in shots and an 8-3 edge in corner kicks. Melanie Stiles made seven saves for ECU, the second time this season she has made at least seven stops.
“If we can play like that, we will be good going forward,” added Hamilton. “We won’t have to overcome what we did today in many other games. It will be great to get back home and have two games at Johnson Stadium.”
The Pirates will return home for a pair of conference games this weekend. First up is a Thursday night meeting with Houston. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm in Johnson Stadium.