• Senior Becca Rolfe led High Point with two shots in the match.
• Senior Alex Hank made seven saves while ceding her first goal of the season after 211 scoreless minutes in net.
• High Point returns to action on Friday night when they travel to take on their third SEC foe of the season in Ole Miss.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The High Point University women’s soccer team fell 3-0 at No. 3 South Carolina on Sunday evening at Stone Stadium. The match was the second of the year for HPU against an SEC opponent.
“Overall, I thought it was a pretty good performance for us against the No. 3 team in the country,” head coach Marty Beall said. “Our first 30 minutes were great. We defended so well and gave them no easy chances. We made a couple mistakes that resulted in goals, but that’s something we will have to learn from and move forward.”
The Panthers’ defense held the Gamecocks (3-1-0) to just one shot on goal in the opening 30 minutes, nullifying multiple chances through solid defensive work. The Gamecocks broke through, though, in the 32nd minute when Luciana Zullo found herself open near the top of the box and slid a shot into the lower right corner to give Carolina a 1-0 lead.
The goal was the first marker against senior goalkeeper Alex Hank this season, ending her scoreless streak at 211:12. Hank ended up making seven saves while playing the full contest.
The tally yielded a wave of momentum and sustained Gamecock pressure up until halftime. In the 43rd minute, the Panthers (2-2-0) deflected a pass from just inside the box, seemingly denying a chance. However, the ball ended up perfectly on the foot of Carolina’s Sarah Eskew, who ripped a shot from 19 yards out to the top left corner and past Hank for a 2-0 advantage.
The Gamecocks added to their lead in the 53rd minute thanks to a counter off a High Point corner kick opportunity. Ryan Gareis streaked down the left side and sent a cross to Elexa Bahr, who headed it home.
High Point’s best opportunity came in the final moments of the match. Senior Taylor Romano’s corner kick in the 88th minute bounced around the box to senior Michele Micciche, who got a solid shot away only to have it saved by the Carolina keeper.
South Carolina held a 20-3 edge in shots, including a 10-2 margin in shots on goal. The Gamecocks earned five corner kicks to the Panthers’ two.
HPU returns to the pitch on Friday, Sep. 1 when they face another SEC opponent in Ole Miss. Kickoff from Oxford, Miss. is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus.