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Friday, July 21, 2017

Soccer

Soccer draws in Cincinnati, readies for East Carolina


uhwomensoccer-16

Soccer has had no problem on offense, scoring 17 goals in their first 11 games. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

The Cougars aim to improve their 1-3-1 conference record Sunday when they travel to Greenville, North Carolina, for a match against the East Carolina Pirates.

The team enters the road trip with a 6-4-2 record, but overall it has been average on the road this season with a 2-2-2 record.

The Cougars’ total wins have exceeded last season’s and equaled that of the last three years combined. Part of this is credited to great play inside the 6-yard box.

The Cougars have had the luxury of fielding two great young goalkeepers in sophomore Rachel Estopare and freshman Nicole Young.

The sophomore transfer recorded a season-high 10 saves against Cincinnati on Thursday. Estopare spent all 110 minutes in the goal of the double overtime 0-0 draw en route to her fifth shutout of the season.

Young stepped in and earned the “Goalkeeper of the Week” award, making the Cougars the first team in the conference to have two players claim the prize.

Estopare missed some time while battling a concussion, but leads the conference in goals against average (0.68) and is 35th in the nation.

On the other side of the pitch, the Cougars are finding the back of the net at an alarming rate. The Cougars have scored 17 goals through their first 11 games.

Sophomore Desiree Bowen currently holds the golden boot for netting six goals, including a hat trick.

The Cougars should be heavily favored against the Pirates, who are currently in poor form as they lost four straight games and nabbed just one goal among those. The Cougars do not want to be the team that gives the Pirates back their confidence.

First kick against the Pirates is scheduled for noon on Sunday.

After their road trip, the Cougars will return home for the rest of the regular season. The team will host Tulsa at 7 p.m. Thursday at Carl Lewis Complex.  At 1 p.m. on Oct. 23, Memphis comes to town to play the Cougars.

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