HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University women’s lacrosse team kicked off its Big South schedule with a 13-8 win over Longwood on Wednesday afternoon at Vert Stadium. Junior Mackenzie Carroll led HPU with four goals and two assists while senior Grace Gaeng notched a hat trick in the win.
“We were really happy to be back home and be able to show what we’re capable of as we start conference play,” said HPU head coach Lyndsey Boswell. “We executed better on offense and defense and we’re focused on improving every day.”
The Panthers controlled the action throughout the game, outshooting Longwood, 40-16, and winning 27 groundballs compared to the Lancers’ 10. High Point also finished with a 15-8 edge in draw controls.
Gaeng’s hat trick was her second in a row and freshman Emily Meier scored a career-high two goals to go along with an assist. Meier also had a team-high five groundballs followed closely by junior Sara Kuhlman, who had four. Junior defender Cissy Woodyard had three caused turnovers and two ground balls.
Longwood had three two-goal scorers and junior attacker Laura Prasnicki posted five assists. Mary Barondess had a game-high five draw controls.
High Point scored four times in the first five minutes of action to take an early 4-0 lead against the Lancers. Carroll played a role in the first three Panther goals, scoring the first and third while assisting Kuhlman on the second. Gaeng scored the fourth off a pass from Meier to put HPU ahead, 4-0.
After Longwood got a goal from Katie McHugh to pull back within three, Carroll scored her third goal of the first half with a free-position shot to put High Point back ahead by four (5-1) with 15:32 remaining in the first half.
Three quick Lancer goals pulled Longwood to within a goal, but Gaeng responded with her second goal of the half to push the HPU advantage to 6-4 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the opening half.
High Point closed the half with two more goals as Meier got a pass from Carroll and scored her second goal of the season and freshman Kristina Renner followed with her first collegiate goal off a pass from classmate Leah Pace to put HPU up 8-4 at the break.
Meier and Gaeng extended the HPU scoring run in the second half as each scored for the Panthers in the opening three minutes to give High Point its biggest lead up to that point at 10-4. Meier found the back of the net less than 90 seconds into the second half and Gaeng scored just a minute later.
Longwood held High Point off the board and got goals from McHugh and Sarah Butler over the next 11 minutes to pull to within four at 10-6.
With the HPU lead at four, defender Patricia Bigelow controlled a ground ball in front of the Panthers’ goal then outraced two Lancers the length of the field to score. It was her first goal of the season and the second of her career.
The next 11 minutes went scoreless before Brentlinger scored, but the Panthers answered with goals from junior Alec Perry and Carroll to secure the win. Perry’s goal extended her season-long scoring streak.
Anna Wallingford picked up her third win of the season in net, making three saves. Christian Acker took the loss for Longwood despite making 12 saves.
High Point improved to 3-6 overall and 1-0 in Big South play while Longwood fell to 6-4 and 2-2.
The Panthers will continue their current four-game home stand on Monday when the team welcomes Coastal Carolina to Vert Stadium. It will be HPU’s first-ever game against the Chanticleers, who are in their first year of Div. I competition.