GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – Plagued by turnovers, the ECU women’s lacrosse team did not have the firepower to keep up with visiting Cincinnati, falling 14-5 Saturday at Johnson Stadium.
ECU (5-8, 0-2) drops its second straight American Athletic Conference game while Cincinnati (8-5, 2-0) maintains a hold on the top spot in the league.
The Pirates scored first in the game, when Nicole LeGar finished off a pass from Ally Stanton. But that 1-0 lead lasted just eight seconds, as Alyssa Adams won the ensuing draw for Cincinnati and took it in for a goal. Adams’ tally was the start of a 5-0 run for the Bearcats which extended to the midway point of the first half.
ECU finally ended the Cincinnati run at 14:22 when Stanton scored on a free-position shot. The Pirates crept even closer at 11:52 when Megan Tryniski found Sophia LoCicero in front of the Bearcat cage and LoCicero was able to spin and score.
The ECU offense went back into hibernation for the rest of the half though, while Cincinnati rattled off three straight scores, including one with just 15 seconds left in the half. That goal made it 8-3 in favor of Cincinnati as the two teams went into the locker room.
The second half started with the two teams trading goals. First, Cincinnati scored through Adams. ECU answered when Stanton got her second goal of the day, this time after a Hannah Rzempoluch pass. But another 3-0 Cincinnati run made the score 12-4.
LoCicero set a new career-high when she bagged her second goal of the day, this one coming off a Rzempoluch pass at 21:32.
The final 20 minutes saw just two goals scored. Adams completed a hat trick at 18:35 and then the AAC’s leading scorer, Monica Borzillo, scored her fourth goal of the game with 12:55 remaining.
ECU trailed just 12-9 at the draw circle, but the Pirates turned the ball over 21 times to Cincinnati’s 12. The turnover disparity was even starker in the first half, when ECU had 14 miscues to eight for the Bearcats. Those turnovers led to a 44-12 advantage in shots and a 20-13 edge in ground balls for Cincinnati.
Stanton led ECU with three points on two goals and an assist. LoCicero (two goals) and Rzempoluch (two assists) were the other Pirates with multiple points. Liz Blumthal led ECU with four draw controls while Jordyn Cox had two caused turnovers and three ground balls. Christina White had 15 saves in the cage for the Pirates.
ECU will have one final non-conference game when the Pirates welcome Duke to Johnson Stadium on Tuesday evening. The game is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m.