• HPU played Georgia to a 0-0 draw to open the season on Friday at Vert Stadium.
• Sophomore Alex Persiani made six saves to record her first clean sheet of the season.
• The Panthers continue their home stand against UNCG on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s soccer team opened the 2015 season with a thrilling 0-0 double-overtime draw against Georgia on Friday night at Vert Stadium. Sophomore Alex Persiani made six saves to earn her first clean sheet of the season.
“It is great for our team to come out here and get a draw against an SEC team like Georgia,” head coach Marty Beall said. “This is a veteran team that went to the national tournament last year and we went toe-to-toe with them. I am very proud of our girls. We talk about getting better every day and we’ve made great strides from the first day of preseason. Tonight is a great confidence builder and we know when we work this hard we can compete with everybody.”
The Panthers and Bulldogs battled for 110 minutes but neither team was able to find the back of the net in regulation or in either overtime period. High Point finished the game with 13 shots with only one on target while Georgia ended the game with 15 shots, including seven on goal.
The Panthers’ best shot of the night came late in the first overtime period, as redshirt-sophomore Bailey Beattie got free on the left side and sent a cross back towards the penalty spot. Sophomore Becca Rolfe crashed on the ball and hit a shot just over the crossbar from 10-yards out.
Persiani and the HPU defense combined to stymie a Georgia attack that put four goals on Furman in exhibition action. The HPU keeper made six saves and came off her line for several key interventions throughout the night. Senior center back Amy Burch made a big play to keep the Bulldogs scoreless in the 97th minute when she cleared the ball off the line on a shot during a scrum in the penalty area. The full clean sheet is the first of Persiani’s career after the sophomore was part of seven split shutouts as a freshman in 2014.
The draw against Georgia is High Point’s first positive result in three games against an SEC opponent. The Panthers entered the night 0-2-0 against teams from the SEC with losses to Auburn and South Carolina.
HPU’s season-opening home weekend continues on Sunday, Aug. 23, when the Panthers play host to inter-Triad rival UNCG at 7 p.m. High Point will look to pick up its first win over the Spartans who opened the season with a 3-2 home loss to Loyola-Chicago on Friday.