HPU Women’s Soccer Advances To Big South Championship With 2-1 Win Over No. 2 Coastal Carolina

Jacky Kessler scored a penalty kick goal in the 108th minute to give HPU the 2-1 double-overtime win against Coastal Carolina.
• Kessler scored both goals for the Panthers in the win, giving her six on the season.
• High Point advances to the Big South Championship with the win over CCU and will face Liberty on Sunday at 2 p.m.

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Senior Jacky Kessler scored a penalty kick goal in the 108th minute to give the High Point University women’s soccer team a 2-1 win over No. 2-seed Coastal Carolina in the Big South Women’ s Soccer Championship Semifinals on Friday night in Greensboro, N.C.

“I am very proud of the girls and happy that they were able to get the win,” head coach Marty Beall said. “They worked extremely hard all night. I think our depth was the biggest difference in the game tonight. We used a lot of players and the quality we are able to bring off the bench really paid dividends for us. It kept us fresh and we were able to get a great goal for the win.”

Freshman Becca Rolfe was taken down just inside the penalty area drawing the penalty kick for the Panthers. Kessler took the ball and beat the Chanticleer keeper with a high shot to the left side to give High Point the double-overtime win.

High Point finished with a 13-8 edge in shots, putting eight on frame compared to four for the Chanticleers.

Freshman Alex Persiani played the second half and overtime to earn her seventh win of the season, improving to 7-1-1 in the first collegiate season. Persiani made two saves to earn the win. Becca Austin made six saves in a losing effort for CCU, falling to 6-4-1 on the season.

High Point improves to 12-4-3 on the season, setting a new HPU Div. I single-season record for wins. The Panthers previously won 11 games in both 2004 and 2007. Coastal Carolina ends 2014 with an 11-8-2 record.

Kessler gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute with a free kick from the top of the box. The senior drew the foul and bent her shot into the upper 90 on the left side, beating the CCU keeper and sneaking it over a jumping defender’s head.

Coastal Carolina pushed the action at the start of the second half and finally broke through with a goal in the 51st minute to knot the game up at 1-1. The Chanticleers earned a corner and played it short to Amber Adams. The defender took two touches before crossing the ball into the box for Rylie Johnson who headed it into the net to tie the game.

High Point advances to the Big South Championship game on Sunday, Nov. 9, at Bryan Park in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Panthers will take on No. 1-seed Liberty who advanced to the championship with a 2-1 win over Campbell. High Point fell to the Flames by a score of 2-0 at Vert Stadium in the teams’ meeting earlier this season. The championship game will kickoff at 2 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

The Panthers are 1-0-4 in the Big South Championship game and have earned the Big South Tournament Championship four times (2003, 2007, 2009 and 2010).