HPU women’s lacrosse falls to No. 2 North Carolina in 2016 opener

• Eight Panthers posted a point in the opener
• HPU played the No. 2 Tar Heels to a 4-4 draw in the second half
• The Panthers held advantages in ground balls (17-16) and caused turnovers (10-7)

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team fell in its 2016 season opener to second-ranked North Carolina on Friday night inside Vert Stadium.

The visiting Tar Heels – which return nine All-Americans from last season’s team that reached the NCAA title game – earned a 17-5 victory on the strength of an outstanding performance at the draw.

The Tar Heels posted a 20-4 advantage in draw controls for the game, allowing No. 2 UNC (2-0) to control possession for much of the game. When the Panthers had the ball, HPU put together some strong offensive series, ultimately playing UNC to a 4-4 draw in the second half.

High Point held advantages in ground balls (17-16) and caused turnovers (10-7) in the contest.

“Draws win games, so if you look at that stat alone, we didn’t give ourselves good opportunities for possession,” head coach Lyndsey Boswell said. “That was the huge difference. When we had the ball, we had some very good possessions. We have some young players on the field that are learning the pace at this level. When you have freshmen starting their careers against the No. 2 team in the country, chances are they’re going to be a little behind. But there are some good takeaways and we will work on execution heading into Virginia Tech.”

Five different Panthers scored for the Purple & White. Junior Samantha Brown got HPU on the board at the 8:14 mark of the first half and seniors Allie Foard and Leah Pace tallied back-to-back scores early in the second half.

Sophomore Erica Perrotta and senior Emily Meier posted goals late in the second half.

Freshman Samantha Herman recorded her first collegiate assist on Meier’s goal while finishing with a pair of draw controls in her HPU debut.

Senior Kristina Renner added an assist while posting three caused turnovers and a pair of ground balls, while senior Tori Dunster also tallied three caused turnovers to pace the Panther defense.

Freshman Molly Andrews made 11 saves in her collegiate debut in a full 60 minutes in the cage for the Purple & White.

UNC jumped out to a 9-0 lead and took a 12-1 lead into the break. Caylee Waters – the 2015 National Goaltender of the Year – made four saves in 40:13 in goal for North Carolina.

The Panthers return to action next Sunday (Feb. 21) with a road contest at Virginia Tech. First draw in Blacksburg is scheduled for 2 p.m.