HPU Women’s Lacrosse Holds on Late to Beat Oregon, 13-10

HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University Women’s Lacrosse team scored the last three goals of the game to get a 13-10 win over Oregon on Sunday at Vert Stadium. Junior attacker Grace Gaeng and sophomore attacker Mackenzie Carroll paced the Panthers with three goals each.

“Oregon is a really good team so we’re really excited to get this win today,” said HPU head coach Lyndsey Boswell. “Grace has been working really hard lately and our other players are feeding off that. Mackenzie had a great game off the bench and we played well defensively. Anna Wallingford was great in the cage and Cissy Woodyard had some great ground balls.”

High Point improved to 6-2 overall while Oregon fell to 5-4.

Gaeng had three goals and three assists as well as five ground balls while Carroll came off the bench and scored her three in the last 20 minutes. Sophomore attacker Chelsea Thompson, who is among the national leaders in scoring, had two goals and three assists. Sophomore midfielder Christie Dougherty scored two goals and had five draw controls.

For the Ducks, Jana Drummond, Nikki Puszcz and and Kristina Barrett each scored two goals and Shannon Propst had a goal and three assists. Senior midfielder Lara Bennett had three ground balls and three caused turnovers.

High Point got the scoring started early with the first three goals of the game. Thompson scored her 18th goal of the season with 27:20 remaining in the first half and added an assist two minutes later when Dougherty connected for her 14th of the season. Gaeng got her 10th goal of the season to give HPU a comfortable three-goal lead with 21:37 left in the first half.

The Panthers were able to push their lead to 6-2 with 11:42 remaining in the first half on an unassisted goal by Gaeng before the Ducks scored three in a row, the final by Barrett with 2:16 left in the first half to make it 6-5 at the break.

High Point opened the second half with great connection from Gaeng behind the net to Thompson, who fired it into the top of the net with 26:28 remaining. A four-goal Oregon run, however, gave the Ducks their first lead. Puszcz scored the last two goals on the run to make it 9-7 in favor of Oregon with 20:08 remaining in the game.

Carroll made her impact to lead the comeback charge, scoring two goals in less than a minute, with the second one coming off the stick of Sara Kuhlman. Kuhlman possessed the ball on the left side and found a wide-open Carroll making a run down the middle of the field. The sophomore corralled the pass and fired a high goal past Oregon goalie Salliebeth Finnegan to make it 9-9. Freshman Kendyl Gardner got the Panthers back in the lead when she took the ball all the way in for a score with 16:29 remaining.

In the closing minutes, Oregon’s Drummond was able to create some suspense with a goal with 4:35 remaining that tied the game again. It was short-lived, as High Point senior Heather Ziccarelli scored the game-winner on a pass from Gaeng just 21 seconds later. Carroll and Gaeng each added scores in the closing minutes, Gaeng’s final goal coming on a turnaround shot past a defender and into the open net.

Wallingford made seven saves in the game, including six in the first half. She made a key late-game save with under two minutes left to preserve the win for High Point. She moved to 5-2 on the season. Oregon goalie Caroline Federighi got the start and made six saves on 13 shots before leaving the game with an injury. Salliebeth Finnegan played the final 23:59 and made three saves, absorbing her first loss of the season.

HPU was in control of the faceoff circle all game, winning eight out of 12 first half draw controls and 15 in the contest. Oregon was led by midfielder Shannon Propst who had two goals and two assists to spark the Ducks offense.

High Point will play its first conference game of the season next Friday when Jacksonville comes to Vert Stadium. It’s a rematch of the 2011 National Lacrosse Conference title game. Game time is set for 7 p.m.