STATESBORO, Ga. – The High Point University women’s soccer team played to a 1-1 tie on the road at Georgia Southern on Sunday afternoon in Statesboro, Ga. Junior Becca Hemby continued her hot start to the season with her fourth goal in four games for HPU.
“Georgia Southern is a very athletic team that is well coached and I thought we battled very hard today,” head coach Marty Beall said. “We were able to create numerous dangerous chances in the game and I am encouraged by our level of play. That being said, we once again let up a soft goal and were unable to finish some our chances which I believe cost us a win today.”
With the draw, High Point moves to 0-1-3 on the season while Georgia Southern drops its first points of the season and falls to 2-0-1.
The Panthers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute when Hemby scored off a corner kick for her fourth tally of the season. HPU earned a corner kick when a breakaway by sophomore Jacky Kessler was cleared over the end line by the GSU defense. Junior Brooke Lisson took the kick from the right corner and hit an outswinger into the box where Hemby out jumped her marker and hammered the ball past the Eagles’ keeper to give High Point the one-goal lead.
Georgia Southern came out pushing for a tying score in the second half pressuring the HPU defense and in the 74th minute broke through when an attempted clearance was intercepted by Nora El-Shami hit into the top right corner. El-Shami latched onto the ball at the top left corner of the penalty area and immediately turned and hit a curling shot into the upper 90.
El-Shami almost delivered GSU the lead just three minutes later with a line drive shot off a free kick that forced a leaping save off the crossbar by High Point’s Ivy Cocklereece.
The game went to extra time where High Point nearly pulled out the win in the opening seconds as Hemby hit a shot from 20-yards out on the left side to the far top corner, forcing a diving save from GSU’s Katie Merson. Hemby then managed to head the ball towards frame on the resulting corner kick but the effort did little to trouble the Eagles’ keeper.
High Point’s final chance to grab the win came in the 110th minute when junior Kelli Joline split two defenders at the edge of the box and hit a shot to the right side of goal but her attempt was stopped by a diving Merson, preserving the 1-1 stalemate.
The Panthers finished the game with a slight 16-14 edge in shots and a 10-8 advantage in shots on goal. Hemby proved to be trouble for the Eagles all afternoon, putting up five shots all on frame. Cocklereece earned the tie for HPU in her first collegiate game, stopping five shots while allowing one goal in 56 minutes.
High Point continues its current four-game road swing on Friday, Aug. 31 when the team heads to Boone, N.C., to take on Appalachian State at 7 p.m. The Panthers and Mountaineers met in an entertaining back-and-forth affair last season at Vert Stadium with ASU pulling out a 3-2 win. Hemby and Katie Harris each scored for High Point in the win. High Point is looking to pick up its first win over ASU in three meetings during the HPU Div. I era.