Win streak ends in first conference game
Houston’s winning streak came to an end as they fell 2-0 against conference rival East Carolina University on Thursday night.
With the loss, the Cougars not only accumulated a 4-5 record but were also handed their first loss of the Athletic American Conference season at home.
“This was probably most frustrating game that we have played in a while,” said head coach Chris Pfau. “We are so close, and we did some nice things and for the most part we did a good job creating some good opportunities.”
That sentiment was equally shared by sophomore midfielder and forward Vanessa Almaguer.
“I do feel kind of down because it is our first game conference game,” said Almaguer. “But I know my teammates are working hard next to me and unfortunately we gave up two soft goals, so that’s really hard to come back to in this conference.”
From the start, Houston struggled to make East Carolina play at their pace, but the Pirates dominated the Cougars throughout the game as they capitalized on minor mistakes while maintaining communication with each other.
“Our first job is to play hard and the communication will come, so I think that it definitely has to do with it, not playing up to par so by communicating better on the field,” said Almaguer. “I think it will make a big difference by changing the mood and the whole vibe of the game.”
That point was proven when East Carolina scored its second goal in a minute after the start of the second half.
“[That’s] the frustrating part is for as well as we did we gave up two soft goals,” said Pfau. “On both goals we just were not tough enough on the ball and gave it to them. At this level, and as good as our conference is, you cannot give the other team those goals.”
Despite East Carolina being in control, Houston managed to give them two scares as senior defender Hailey Kirkwood and sophomore midfielder Georgi Dolence had scoring chances to even the game.
But despite the efforts made, Houston came up short and showed some issues that need to be addressed. At the same time, Pfau praised East Carolina’s performance.
“That said there were some positive things we can take away from this game,” Pfau said. “ECU is a very talented team that went to the conference final four last season, and we made it a good game.”