Cougars drop both weekend games

Two consecutive losses at Robertson Stadium probably wasn’t the way the Cougars wanted to start play in Conference USA this season.

Houston dropped its fourth consecutive loss, a 1-0 decision to East Carolina, on Sunday after losing its conference opener against Marshall 2-1 on Friday.

"That is the one missing ingredient we have this season – that player who can put the ball away," UH head coach Susan Bush said in a press conference. "We need to find a way to score goals. We have been outplaying and outshooting our opponents, but we have struggled finishing."

ECU senior forward Blair Heffner scored off an assist from sophomore forward Jessica Cunningham in the 87th minute to give ECU the win. Seven of the Pirates’ eight shots came in the second period, which Bush attributes to the stifling defense the Cougars played in the first period.

"We were able to send (sophomore forward) Lauri Bryne and (freshman defender Stephanie) Derieg up on the attack and really put pressure on East Carolina," Bush said.

The Cougars were able to get off 12 shots to the Pirates’ eight, but couldn’t turn the opportunities into points. Junior forward Kaitlin Thulin led the team with three shots while senior goalie Shelby Scott finished the game with one save.

The Cougars were held scoreless by ECU senior goalie Amber Campbell, who recorded five saves against UH as the win put the Pirates at 7-3 (2-0 C-USA) on the season.

Penalties cost the Cougars the win against Marshall as they opened conference play against the Thundering Herd on Friday.

Marshall (3-3-4, 1-1-0 C-USA) took an early lead when sophomore forward Erika Duncan scored on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute.

UH senior forward Brittney Pfeiffer scored her fifth career goal in the 49th minute off an assist from junior forward Nikki Echeverria to tie the game at 1-1.

The Thundering Herd answered with a header by redshirt freshman Erin Blakely off freshman forward Angela DeSumma’s corner.

The Cougars had a chance to tie late in the game, when freshman forward Jessica Zavalza kicked the ball into the net in the 82nd minute for a goal that would have tied the game, but was whistled for a foul.

Houston wasn’t able to get another ball into the net before time expired as the Thundering Herd took the win.

"We had a goal called back. Whether or not we agree with the call, it doesn’t matter. It’s out of our control," Bush said. "We just need to find a way to finish our chances."

The Cougars look to improve on their 4-5 (0-2 C-USA) record as they continue conference play against Tulsa on Friday and Southern Methodist on Sunday at Robertson Stadium.

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