Site: High Point, N.C. (Vert Stadium)
Score: Jacksonville 14, High Point 13
Records: High Point (0-1), Jacksonville (1-0)
Next HPU Event: Sunday, February 14, — vs. Mercer (Vert Stadium)
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team opened up the 2021 campaign with a heartbreaking 14-13 loss to Jacksonville. The Panthers led for all but 4:03 of the game and were led in scoring by graduate student Ashley Britton and senior Kaely Kyle who each had four-goal performances.
“I’m really sad for our girls and at the same time so proud of them, Head Coach Lyndsey Boswell said after the game. “We were in control of the game for a majority of it, but we made some mistakes toward the end that would up costing us the win. We have a long season ahead of us, and we learned a lot today. We are grateful for the opportunity to come back out here and put 60 minutes together on Sunday.”
Kyle got the scoring started for the Panthers with a helper from junior Emma Genovese just over three minutes into the contest. Kyle didn’t stop there, scoring her second of the game just two minutes later to give High Point a two-goal advantage, this time off a free-position attempt. The Gladwyne, Pa. native finished with all four of her goals in the first half.
Jacksonville found the back of the net for the next three goals, taking the 3-2 lead into the first media timeout. The Dolphins scored again out of the break, but junior Mena Loescher responded with her first goal of the season to cut the Jacksonville lead to one before Britton found the equalizer just 34 seconds later. Britton went back-to-back, scoring her second of the game and putting the Purple and White up 5-4 at the second media timeout of the first half.
Senior Nicole Pugh got in on the scoring to give HPU a two-goal advantage and force a Jacksonville timeout. The teams went back and forth for the next several minutes, High Point forcing 10 turnovers in the first half. Loescher ended the drought, collecting her second goal of the half to put the Panthers up 7-4. A quick pair of Panther goals from Kyle made it a 9-4 game at the half. The Panthers’ nine-goal half marks the third-straight season High Point has scored at least nine goals in its opening half.
Senior Abby Hormes found her first goal of the season quickly after the break, scoring just over a minute into the second half. Hormes came into the season with 133 career goals and now needs just 15 more to become High Point’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Three consecutive goals for the Dolphins cut the High Point lead in half, making it a 10-7 game with 21 minutes left to play. The Panthers responded with back-to-back goals from Britton and Genovese to stretch the lead back to five. The back and forth continued as Jacksonville scored twice in 21 seconds to make it a 12-9 game out of the final media timeout of the game. Two more Dolphins scores cut the Panthers lead to one with just under six minutes to play.
HPU responded with Britton’s fourth goal of the day to put the lead at two, but the Dolphins would not go away, making it a 13-12 game just 40 seconds later. The equalizer came just 25 seconds after that, tying the game at 13. With just 47.4 seconds left, Jacksonville took its first and only lead of the game.
High Point will be back in action on Sunday (Feb. 14) as they host Mercer. Game time is set for noon and can be streamed live on ESPN+.