HPU women’s lacrosse unveils 2017 schedule

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University women’s lacrosse head coach Lyndsey Boswell has released the program’s 2017 schedule, which features marquee home contests against Oregon and league rival Winthrop.

The Panthers will play nine non-conference games, highlighted by games at defending national champion North Carolina and Big Ten foe Michigan, as well as home games against the Ducks and George Mason.

The average 2016 RPI of HPU non-conference opponents is 41, providing a challenging slate for the Panthers before heading into conference play.

HPU opens the year at UNC on Friday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. The 2016 NCAA champion Tar Heels posted a 20-2 record a year ago, went a perfect 6-0 mark in conference play, and upset top-ranked Maryland in the NCAA final (13-7) to claim the program’s second national title.

The Panthers remain on the road to battle intra-Triad opponent Elon on Feb. 19 inside Rhodes Stadium.

HPU wraps up its season-opening road trip with a game at James Madison on Feb. 19. The Purple & White upended the No. 21 Dukes, 15-9, last season in Vert Stadium. JMU went on to post a 5-1 CAA record and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

HPU kicks off its home slate on March 5 by reigniting its series with the Oregon Ducks. The Panthers won in Eugene, 12-7, in 2016 behind 13 saves from goalie Molly Andrews and six points from current senior Samantha Brown.

HPU then travels north to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a contest with the Wolverines on March 10 (5 p.m.). The Panthers also won the front end of that series last season, knocking off Michigan 11-6 in Vert Stadium.

The Panthers return home for a two-game homestand after that, hosting George Mason on March 15 and Marist on March 19. The Panthers and Patriots have split a pair of past meetings, while HPU and Marist will meet for the first time on the women’s lacrosse field.

High Point wraps up its non-conference slate with a trip to the City of Brotherly Love for two games. HPU plays at La Salle on March 24 in Philadelphia, then heads cross town to battle Drexel on March 26.

The Panthers open Big South play at Gardner-Webb on Apr. 1, before hosting 2016 Big South champion Winthrop on Apr. 5 in Vert Stadium. The Panthers and Eagles have split their past two regular season meetings.

HPU remains at home for an April 8 contest vs. Longwood, then hits the road for back-to-back games at Radford (Apr. 12) and Liberty (Apr. 15).

The Panthers battle Campbell on Apr. 19 in Vert Stadium before wrapping up regular season play on Apr. 22 vs. Presbyterian College.

The Big South Championship begins Apr. 29 with quarterfinal games at home sites, before moving to the home of the top remaining seed for semifinal and final action on May 4 and May 6.

The Panthers tied the school record for league victories (7) in 2016, posted a 13-6 record overall and advanced to the Big South title game. HPU returns seven starters from that squad, including All-Big South selections Christina Del Sesto, Erica Perrotta and Molly Andrews.

Overall, HPU has posted a 25-4 (.862) league record in its first four seasons in the Big South Conference.