HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Danielle Schepler scored three goals in the span of seven minutes to propel the High Point University women’s soccer team to a 5-1 win over UNC Asheville in Big South action on Saturday afternoon at Vert Stadium.
Schepler had two goals in her High Point career before coming off the bench and netting goals in the 21st, 23rd and 28th minute of play on Saturday. The hat trick by Schepler is the first by an HPU women’s soccer player since Kelli Joline notched three goals in a win over Gardner-Webb on Oct. 9, 2010.
“I am very pleased with our performance this afternoon,” head coach Marty Beall said. “We got off to a slow start, but I was pleased with the resiliency we showed. We fought back and dominated after the first 15 minutes of the game. I was very proud of Danielle Schepler for her hat trick today. She came off the bench and really made an impact which is something we have been talking about in practice.”
The win by High Point is its third straight and its fourth in five games. The Panthers improve to 5-4-6 overall in 2012 and stay undefeated in Big South play with a 4-0-2 mark in six conference games. High Point is undefeated at Vert Stadium this season with a 3-0-2 record in five home games. UNC Asheville drops to 3-10-0 overall and 1-5-0 in the Big South with the loss.
The Panthers began the game on their heels as UNC Asheville opened as the aggressors and picked up a goal in the eighth minute of play to take the early 1-0 lead.
HPU started to gain control of the game after 15 minutes and leveled the score in the 21st minute when Schepler controlled a rebound in the box and scored from six-yards out. Sophomore Jacky Kessler managed to turn the corner on her defender on the right flank and hit a low cross which the Asheville goalie dove to try and hit away. The rebound fell right to the feet of Schepler who deposited the ball into the net for her first score of the season.
Schepler picked up her second goal of the game just 88 seconds later when she scored on a breakaway against the Bulldogs keeper to put HPU ahead, 2-1. Becca Hemby hit a long ball over the top of the Asheville backline for Schepler to run onto. The forward made a run off the back shoulder of the defender and avoided the Asheville keeper. The defender and keeper collided, allowing Schepler to score with a shot on an empty net.
Schepler completed her hat trick in the 28th minute off a through ball from junior Taylor Parker. Parker played the ball between Schepler and junior Kelli Joline along the Asheville backline. Joline dummied the ball after coming back from an offsides position allowing Schepler to run onto the pass and score with a shot from 15-yards away.
High Point continued to push numbers forward and would add its fourth goal of the half in the 32nd minute as Joline got on the score sheet with a shot from 10-yards out. Parker picked up her second assist of the day after finding Joline open on the right edge of the box. Joline took one touch around the outside back before ripping a shot into the upper netting. The goal was Joline’s third of the season.
After notching two assists in the first half, Parker got a goal for herself in the 58th minute to bring the score to 5-1 on the day. Senior midfielder Jenny Butler started the play with a curling pass from the left side of the field to the far post. Senior Janay Whittaker made a run to the post and played the ball back to the center of the penalty area where Parker was open and scored her fourth goal of the season with a shot past the diving keeper.
High Point finished the game with 29 shots including a season-high 16 on frame. Parker had eight shots in the game while Hemby and Schepler each had four. After allowing five shots in the first 15 minutes of action, HPU’s defense held UNC Asheville to just three shots over the final 75 minutes. Freshman Ivy Cocklereece got the start and made three first-half saves to pick up her second-straight win.
The Panthers are off until Thursday, Oct. 11, when they will play host to Liberty University at 7 p.m. The Flames are 8-5-1 overall and 2-2-1 in Big South action in 2012. HPU is 9-11-2 all-time in 22 meetings with Liberty. Last season, High Point picked up a 1-0 win over the Flames at Vert Stadium on a Joline penalty kick.