East Carolina University defeated the University of Florida soccer team 2-1 Sunday afternoon at Johnson Stadium. The physical match was decided entirely by second half set pieces.
Kickoff for this match was moved up three hours because of anticipated rain in Greenville.
Both the Gators (2-4-0) and Pirates (5-2-1) came out fast and physical in the first half. Together, the teams committed 11 fouls, seven by ECU and four by UF.
While the first half ended scoreless, both teams generated opportunities to put themselves ahead; yet, the numbers were in favor of the Gators. Florida totaled 12 shots, while East Carolina had five.
With time ticking down in the first half, Florida head coach Samantha Bohon made some offensive adjustments, looking to go into halftime with the lead. However, the teams would retire to the locker room even at zero.
In the 49th minute, the Gators, led by freshman forward Tatum O’Coyne, dribbled down the the right side of the field toward their opponent’s box. Florida managed to get a cross off, which was redirected off the arm of ECU defender Jazmin Ferguson, giving the Gators a penalty kick opportunity.
Junior Delaney Tauzel slotted the ball into the lower left corner of the net to put the Gators ahead.
But, the lead did not last long. Ten minutes later, the Pirates got a penalty kick after Florida defender Josie Curtis took down a Pirate in the box. Carsen Parker stepped up to the penalty spot and sent the ball into the bottom right of the goal to even the score once again.
As the rain picked up, the referees sent the teams off for a 45 minute weather delay.
When the teams took the field again, it did not take long for ECU to strike. In the 85th minute, the Pirates were awarded a free kick right outside Florida’s box. Parker stepped up once again and buried the ball in the lower left corner of the goal.
With the lead, the Pirates controlled possession for the remaining five minutes of the game, securing their victory.
“The thing that was most disappointing is we created our chances today, and we just didn’t put it away,” Bohon said. “And it came back to bite us in the butt.”
The Gators will return home to take on Tennessee on September 16.