High Point Report Follows:
ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s soccer team suffered its first setback of the season falling to Triad foe High Point, 2-1, on Sunday night, Aug. 21, at Rudd Field. Meg Kowalski’s 55th minute goal proved to be the game winner for the Panthers.
The Phoenix falls to 1-1-0 overall after the opening two games of the season. High Point remained undefeated, improving to 1-0-1 on the year. Sophomore Tori Baliatico scored Elon’s only goal and the match equalizer in the sixth minute after High Point grabbed an early lead less than two minutes into the match.
“It was an exciting early season match,” said Elon head coach Chris Neal. “High Point was the better team in the first half, but we still went into the half level. I thought our team responded well and were much better in the second half, but we just didn’t put away some really good chances that we had. Credit to High Point for the defending they showed in some very dangerous situations we created. If we can play with a little bit more composure around the penalty box and clean up some attacking runs, our team has a chance to score a ton of goals this season.”
It was a fast start for the Panthers as Bri Jean-Charles put High Point ahead 1:13 into the match. She placed a shot on a breakaway past Elon goalkeeper Taylor Mohr to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
The Phoenix responded just minutes later tying up the match 1-1 in the sixth minute. Freshman Rakel Jonsdottir’s header found a streaking Baliatico on the right side of the 18-yard box. The sophomore’s soft touch on the bouncing ball floated over High Point goalkeeper Alex Hank to bring the score level.
The Panthers dominated the stat sheet in the first half outshooting the Phoenix 12-1, but the maroon and gold were able to keep the match at 1-1 heading into the half.
It was less than 10 minutes into the second half that Kowalski helped the Panthers regain the lead. Kowalski received a pass from Becca Rolfe and unleashed a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that took a deflection and found the lower right corner of the net in the 55th minute.
Elon responded well in the second half leading the shot count 5-3 and created some dangerous opportunities late in the period. Molly Gradl has two great chances in the 80th and 82nd minutes respectfully. Her first opportunity inside the six-yard box was saved by Hank and her shot off a corner went over the crossbar.
In addition, Sydney Schilling had a header blocked by a defender in the 85th minute and Jill Richards had a free kick in the 86th minute that hit the post. Despite Elon’s late efforts, High Point held on for the 2-1 victory.
Elon will return to Rudd Field on Friday, Aug 26, to complete its three game home stand. The Phoenix hosts UNCG at 7 p.m. before hitting the road on Sunday, Aug. 28, to face No. 14 Clemson at 2 p.m.
HPU women’s soccer earns 2-1 win at Elon
• High Point earned its first win of the season with a 2-1 victory on the road at Elon on Sunday.
• The Panthers got goals in each half, first from junior Bri Jean-Charles then from senior Meg Kowalski.
• HPU put up 15 shots, including six on frame, while holding Elon to just six attempts.
ELON, N.C. – The High Point University women’s soccer team went on the road and picked up a 2-1 win at inter-Triad rival Elon on Sunday evening in Elon, N.C. Senior Meg Kowalski and junior Bri Jean-Charles both found the back of the net for HPU in the victory.
“I thought we were fantastic tonight against a very good Elon squad,” head coach Marty Beall said. “We really stifled them in the first half and limited them to just one opportunity, which they took advantage of. The second half was a fight and they threw the kitchen sink at us in the final 15 minutes. I am proud of the way the team battled and weathered the storm late to get the win.”
The Panthers improve to 1-0-1 with their first win of the 2016 campaign while Elon falls to 1-1-0.
High Point got on board in just the second minute of play when Jean-Charles got behind the defense and slotted a low shot past the Elon keeper to put the Panthers in front. 1-0.
The advantage for HPU lasted just three minutes as the Phoenix answered right back with a goal by Tori Ballatico in the fifth minute. Ballatico hit a chip shot off a free kick that looped over HPU keeper Alex Hank and into the net to level the score at 1-1.
The Panthers came right back and peppered the Elon goal with shots, taking a 12-1 edge into halftime and eventually reclaiming the lead on a tally by Kowalski in the 55th minute. The midfielder scored her first of the season after receiving a pass from junior Becca Rolfe
HPU dominated possession throughout the contest, at one point holding a 14-1 edge in shots before a late push by Elon. The Panthers finished the contest with a 15-6 advantage in shots with six attempts on frame. Hank made two saves for HPU to pick up her first win of the season in goal.
High Point returns to Vert Stadium for the team’s 2016 home opener against Appalachian State on Friday, Aug. 26, at 4 p.m. The game between the Panthers and Mountaineers will be the first of an HPU soccer double header and will be followed by the men’s soccer season opener against East Tennessee State.