Pirates use record day to beat Gardner-Webb, 18-11

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A record day on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball helped the ECU women’s lacrosse team top Gardner-Webb 18-11 on Sunday afternoon inside Johnson Stadium.

“I think we played strong today,” said head coach Amanda Barnes Moore. “Coming out of our opening weekend with two wins, we’re certainly not going to complain about that. But we definitely saw some room for improvement on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.”

ECU (2-0) has already matched its win total from its inaugural season and has now won consecutive games for the first time. Brittany Borchers (two goals and four assists) and Megan Pallozzi (four goals and two assists) both finished with six points, as Borchers’ four helpers are a school record, as the Pirates had a program-best 18 goals. On the defensive side, Christina White set a new ECU standard with 16 saves.

The Pirates grabbed control of the game almost immediately. Pallozzi opened the scoring just 1:04 into the game. After the Bulldogs answered, ECU scored three straight goals, including a pair on free position shots.

Gardner-Webb got one goal back at the 20:22 mark on a free position shot of its own, but Pallozzi took over the game after that. First, she found Ally Stanton who was able to score. Pallozzi followed with a goal off a feed from Borchers before assisting on an Emma Bowman goal. Pallozzi struck once more on an unassisted effort to give ECU a commanding 8-2 lead.

The Bulldogs were able to close the gap by allowing ECU to score just once in the final 14 minutes of the half. Gardner-Webb went on a 4-1 run to head into the locker room trailing just 9-6.

In the opening minutes of the second half, the two teams traded blows. ECU threw the first punch when Borchers and Nicole Legar scored on back-to-back free position shots. Gardner-Webb retaliated with a pair of goals of its own.

After a nearly five minute scoreless stretch, ECU was able to salt the game away with a six-minute burst. First, Bowman scored off a pass from Borchers. Soon after, Borchers and Legar scored again on free position shots. Finally, Camryn Pennypacker added a free position goal of her own, giving ECU its largest lead of the game at 15-8.

Gardner-Webb could not get closer than six the rest of the way, with Pallozzi, Pennypacker and Hannah Rzempoluch scoring to make sure the lead stayed intact.

ECU finished with 23 ground balls to Gardner-Webb’s 15 while the Bulldgos had a slight 15-14 edge in the draw circle. White had 16 saves and scooped up seven ground balls in the goal for ECU and Hannah Melton had a team-high two caused turnovers. Katie Sylvester had seven saves for Gardner-Webb while Sarah Annable had two stops during the final 8:07.

ECU will have a week off before hitting the road for a matchup with North Carolina. That game is scheduled for 12 noon on Sunday, Feb. 17.