HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team pulled away for a 15-8 win over Liberty, improving to 4-0 in Big South play on Sunday afternoon at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C. Junior midfielder Alec Perry led the Panthers with four goals and five draw controls.
“We made some adjustments at halftime that paid off and we were able to get this win,” said HPU head coach Lyndsey Boswell. “Possession was the biggest thing. We had too many turnovers in the first half but we got that under control. We saw some good things on the attack. Overall we’re happy to get another Big South win and we’ll get ready to play Davidson in a big game this Friday.”
Perry has scored in every game this season and now has 23 goals on the season. Her five draw controls were a career high. Sophomore attacker Kendyl Gardner scored three times and freshman Allie Foard had a career day with two goals and two assists. Freshman Lila Mastroberti came off the bench to get six draw controls.
Liberty’s Kallie Britton led her team with two goals and six others netted one each for the Flames. Defender Jen Moyer had three caused turnovers, three ground balls, and she scored on a free-position opportunity late in the first half.
High Point got back to .500, improving to 6-6 overall and 4-0 in Big South play. Liberty fell to 6-8 overall and 2-2 in the Big South.
The Panthers staved off Liberty’s threats to lead 7-4 at halftime. After High Point scored the first three goals of the game, Liberty’s Sam Struss and Britton scored within a minute of each other with 17:42 and 16:58 remaining to make it 3-2. The Panthers got their lead back to two on a Grace Gaeng score with 14:38 left in the first half. After nearly six scoreless minutes, Liberty scored twice, the second on the free-position shot by Moyer that tied the game at 4-4 with 6:28 on the clock.
With the game tied, the Panthers won the ensuing draw and scored the last three goals of the period. Perry won the draw and passed it to junior Mackenzie Carroll, who fed it back to Perry for the score with 6:14 left in the first half. Gardner fought through the Liberty defense for a goal with 4:03 to go and freshman Emily Meier scored a free-position goal with 40 seconds left to make it 7-4.
High Point pulled away in the second half, leading draws 9-4 and ground balls 13-4 while turning the ball over just five times compared to 13 times in the first half. Consequently, HPU outshot Liberty 24-8 in the second frame.
After nearly six minutes of scoreless play to start the second half, Gardner scored on a free-position shot with 24:06 remaining and Perry netted the next two goals within the next minute. Perry’s goal with 23:51 on the clock was a replay of her first-half goal: she won the draw, passed the ball to Carroll and Carroll fed it back to her for the score.
Liberty scored consecutive goals with 20:35 and 17:47 remaining in the game to get within four (10-6), but the Panthers scored five times in a row to put it away.
After four-straight Big South home games, HPU hits the road for their last three league games. The Panthers start the road swing at Davidson next Friday at 6 p.m. in Davidson, N.C. The Wildcats are also 4-0 in Big South play after a 19-3 win over Presbyterian on Sunday.