• Senior Alex Hank, the reigning Big South Defensive Player of the Week, established a new career high with eight saves, six of which came in the second half and overtime
• High Point outshot Liberty 19-12, including recording the first seven shots of the match. The Panthers were able to put three shots on net
• HPU stayed unbeaten in Big South play (1-0-1) through two games for the second straight year and for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
LYNCHBURG, Va. – In a rematch of last year’s Big South Championship, the High Point University women’s soccer team fought to a 0-0 tie against Liberty on Wednesday evening at Osborne Stadium. Senior goalkeeper Alex Hank stopped eight shots to establish a new career high.
“I loved our first 35 minutes, I thought we were fantastic,” head coach Marty Beall said. “We needed to do a better job in the attacking third, but we didn’t allow a shot until the 36th minute and that’s kudos to our team defending. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to carry that energy over to the second half. Getting four points (on the road in two matches) is good, but six points is better. This is a program where we enter every conference game wanting to get three points. So while it was a good performance, we’re a little bit disappointed to only come away with a point.”
High Point (4-6-1, 1-0-1) came out as the aggressors early in the match, recording the first seven shots. Senior Becca Rolfe put a header just high in the second minute and sophomore Alex Denny nearly converted a turnover deep in the HPU end into a goal, but slid the shot wide. Senior Michele Micciche record two shots in a five-minute stretch later in the half, one that was headed high and another that went wide.
Hank was not tested until the 36th minute with a routine save from straight on. Two minutes later, Hank made a tremendous diving stop to her left on a ball destined for the top-right corner to keep the game scoreless. HPU held a 9-2 edge in shots in the opening 45 minutes, although the Flames posted the only two shots on net.
Hank was again on top of things in the 53rd minute, recording consecutive stops on shots from the right side of the box. The reigning Big South Defensive Player of the Week finished the night with a career-high eight saves and also was the benefit of a team save in the 81st minute when Allie Reagan cleared a ball off the goal line following a Liberty (3-5-3, 1-0-1) corner kick.
Promptly after the team save, the Panthers had their best chance of the night to take the lead. Senior Bri-Jean Charles’ left-footed attempt from the top of the box ricocheted off the right post and slid across the goal line before spinning out of play past the left post.
The game eventually moved into overtime, where neither team was able to find a quality chance. HPU held a 3-1 edge in shots in OT, although none threatened the Liberty goal.
High Point finished the night with a 19-12 advantage in shots, but saw the Flames put nine shots on net to the Panthers’ three. With the draw, the Purple & White remain undefeated in conference play for the second straight year and for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
HPU returns to Vert Stadium on Saturday for its first home conference game against Radford. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed on the Big South Network.