RICHMOND, Va. – The High Point University women’s soccer team opened the 2012 season with a 1-1 tie on the road at VCU on Friday night in Richmond, Va. Junior Becca Hemby scored the lone goal for HPU while junior Jesse May made a career-high 13 saves.
“This was good start for us,” Beall said. “Tonight was the first time we stepped on the field in 2012 against an opponent and we competed at a high level against a very good VCU team. I thought we defended well and a lot of the shots we allowed were routine saves by Jesse. Our team defending is designed to force routine saves and that is what we did for the most part tonight.”
May finished the game one save shy of the HPU Div. I single-game record set by Marisa Abbott in the NCAA tournament against UNC in 2009. May made three crucial saves in extra time to keep the score deadlocked. Early in the first period of extra time May parried a shot from distance just over the crossbar. May also stopped two shots by the Rams in one-on-one situations, denying VCU’s Courtney Conrad in the 100th minute and Breiana White in the 110th minute.
Becca Hemby scored the first goal of the 2012 season in the 34th minute to put the Panthers up, 1-0. Junior Taylor Parker corralled a ball cleared out of the box on an HPU corner and fed Hemby with a through ball into the box. Hemby hit the ball into the lower left corner of the goal with her first touch to give High Point the lead.
The Rams came back to tie the game in the 58th minute when Maren Johansen scored with a shot from 18-yards out. The VCU forward got behind the outside back and ran onto a ball over the backline. Johansen dribbled across the top of the box and hit a hard shot to the top left corner. May dove and got her hand on the ball, but could not keep it out of the back of the net.
Midway thorugh the first overtime period the Panthers appeared to win the game on a goal by senior Danielle Schepler but it was called back for offsides. The VCU keeper missed a punch on a cross into the box and Schepler hit the loose ball into the net. The celebration was cut short as the linesman on the far side had raised his flag.
High Point will return to action on Sunday, Aug. 19, when the Panthers travel to Auburn Ala., to take on the Tigers of Auburn University. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 3 p.m.