GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – For the first time in program history, the ECU women’s lacrosse team has won three straight games after beating Saint Francis 16-8 on Sunday afternoon inside Johnson Stadium.
“Overall, I thought we had a great team win,” said head coach Amanda Barnes Moore. “I thought this was the most complete game that we have played, from top to bottom and from start to finish, so far this season which was a goal coming into this game.”
ECU (5-1) has beaten all five of its unranked opponents so far this season and has beaten three teams that the Pirates lost to during its inaugural season. Saint Francis (0-4) is still looking for its first win of the year.
For the second straight game, the Pirates took an early lead. Brittany Borchers staked ECU to a 2-0 lead when she scored on a pair of individual efforts. Ally Stanton made it 3-0 through a free-position goal.
Saint Francis answered with a pair of goals of their own, the first with 18:36 left in the opening half and the second just under three minutes later. From there on, the Red Flash could not get any offense going until after halftime while ECU built a cushion for itself. First, Megan Pallozzi stopped the Saint Francis streak with a goal and then Hannah Rzempoluch scored off a feed from Borchers. Stanton added another free position goal and Emma Bowman scored the final goal of the period on an unassisted effort, giving ECU a 7-2 lead at the break.
In the opening stages of the season half, ECU continued to extend its lead. Camryn Pennypacker scored on a free position goal during a man-up situation for the Pirates. Saint Francis finally stopped the five-goal ECU run when Livia Baker scored at 23:48. The scoreless streak for Saint Francis came to an end after more than 22 minutes.
The Saint Francis momentum was quickly extinguished as Nicole LeGar scored a pair of goals, both off passes from Rzempoluch while Bowman added her second goal of the game in between.
With ECU holding an 11-3 lead, it looked like the Pirates had a comfortable win in hand. However, Saint Francis finally found its groove on offense. Livia Baker scored twice for the Red Flash, both within a minute of each other to force an ECU timeout. Out of the huddle, Paige Brady took control of the offense, scoring two goals of her own to cut ECU’s lead to just 11-7.
ECU finally regained its footing when LeGar won the ensuing draw. That draw control led to Bowman finding Camryn Pennypacker in front of the crease, with the reigning AAC Midfielder of the Week burying the ball in the back of the net.
From there, Saint Francis never threatened ECU again. LeGar, Stanton, and Borchers all scored in the final five minutes to complete hat tricks while Pallozzi also added her second goal of the game on a free position shot.
ECU held a 24-18 advantage in shots on goal and a 14-12 edge in draw controls. Borchers had a team-high four points while Stanton, Rzempoluch, LeGar, Pallozzi, and Bowman all had three. LeGar finished with 10 draw controls for ECU while Christina White, Jordyn Cox and Hannah Melton all scooped up three ground balls.
White, the conference’s reigning Defensive Player of the Week, made 10 saves to pick up her fifth win of the season. For Saint Francis, three goalkeepers combined to make eight saves.
The Pirates will be on the road on Wednesday, March 6 as they travel to take on Liberty. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.