• Senior Bri-Jean Charles netted her first goal of the season in the 74th minute for the only goal of the match
• Senior Alex Hank and junior Emily Lyon combined to make two saves for HPU’s third shutout of the season
• The Panthers limited the Thundering Herd to six shots, the lowest total for an opponent this year
HIGH POINT, N.C. – A late goal from senior Bri Jean-Charles and a stifling defensive effort led the High Point University women’s soccer team to a 1-0 triumph over visiting Marshall on Sunday afternoon at Vert Stadium. The match signified the final non-conference game of the year for HPU.
“I was very pleased with our effort today,” head coach Marty Beall said. “We spent a lot of time this week trying to improve the little things of our game and trying to work on our shape and our system. I thought out girls did a fantastic job of dealing with Marshall’s attack throughout the match. Savannah (Stoughton) did a great job in a 1 v. 1 matchup, which is something we focused on this week, and served a great ball in. Bri did a great job to battle and tuck it away for us.”
The Panthers (3-6-0) were the aggressors early in the match, recording four shots in the opening 18 minutes. Senior Michele Micciche provided three of the opportunities, and ended up with six shots in the match, tying her career high set a year ago. Micciche recorded four of the shots in the opening half and now leads the team with 14 shots this season.
Marshall (2-6-0) saw its best opportunity to jump in front come in the 34th minute. A long strike from the right side of the box off the foot of Ashley Seltzer was punched away by senior goalkeeper Alex Hank in an acrobatic, diving stop to her right. The Thundering Herd were held to just two shots in the first half.
HPU appeared to be on the verge of taking the lead in the 64th minute with a great bit of possession and touch passing in the attacking third. The opportunity came for senior Bailey Beattie, who had her shot just tipped high by Marshall keeper Megan Bonelli, who finished the match with two saves.
The Panthers moved ahead in the 74th minute on a scrappy effort. Junior Savannah Stoughton won a 1 v. 1 battle on the left side and chipped a pass to the left side of the 6′ box where a scramble ensued. Jean-Charles was able to win the battle for the ball amongst multiple defenders and chip it past Bonelli for the go-ahead goal. It was the first goal of the season for Jean-Charles, and 12th of her career.
HPU clamped down on the Marshall attack, allowing just one shot that was well high in the final 15 minutes. Overall, High Point outshot the Herd 12-6, including 3-2 in shots on goal. The six shots against were the lowest total for a Panther opponent this season. Hank combined with junior Emily Lyon, who made one save in the second half, to post the team’s third shutout of the year. All three wins for High Point this year have come via identical 1-0 scores.
With non-conference play complete, the Purple & White turn their attention to Big South play, which begins on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Longwood. The Panthers were picked to finish second in the conference while the Lancers were slotted fifth in the league’s preseason poll.