• Senior Bailey Beattie headed in the golden goal off a corner kick in the 94th minute to give HPU its fourth overtime victory in its last five matches.
• Sophomore Alex Denny and senior Michele Micciche also scored for the Panthers, who posted a season-high three tallies.
• The Panthers clinched a top four seed in the Big South Tournament and as a result, will host a match in the quarterfinal round.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – For the fourth time in five games, the High Point University women’s soccer utilized a golden goal from a senior to knock off a Big South opponent. On Senior Day, it was senior Bailey Beattie who headed in a corner kick in the 94th minute to defeat Winthrop, 3-2, in overtime at Vert Stadium.
“I thought the game was a pretty even match,” head coach Marty Beall said. “We did a lot of good things and created some good chances in the first half. In the second half, though, we didn’t have the energy and intensity that we needed. I think the emotions of Senior Day got to us, but give credit to Winthrop for doing a great job of getting back into the game each time we scored. I’m really happy that our three goals were all high quality goals and we were able to pull out a win.”
The decisive sequence began in the 93rd minute when High Point (8-7-1, 5-1-1) earned a free kick from just outside of the 18′. Senior Michele Micciche’s try was deflected off the wall to the end line, resulting in a corner kick. Senior Taylor Romano curled in a ball to the middle of the box where Beattie elevated and headed it past the Winthrop (5-8-1, 2-5-0) keeper for the winning tally.
The victory was HPU’s fourth past regulation this year, establishing a new school record. All four goals have come in the first overtime and from a different senior. The triumph also secured the Panthers a top four seed in the Big South Tournament and a home match in the quarterfinal round to be held Friday, Oct. 27.
High Point opened the scored in the 40th minute after an even start to the game. Senior Becca Rolfe tracked down a deflection to the right of the box and ladled a cross to the goalmouth where sophomore Alex Denny crashed in a header for her first tally of the season. HPU held an 8-5 edge in shots at the break, but had held the Eagles without a shot attempt for the final 20 minutes of the opening stanza.
That changed almost immediately following intermission as the game broke wide open in the beginning of the second half. Winthrop took the opening kickoff and trotted right down the field where Allie Thomas chipped a shot from the right side over senior Alex Hank to even the match.
The Panthers were quick to respond in the 50th minute on a Micciche tally. Rolfe was at the start of the attack again, sending a ball out wide left to Beattie, who sent in a gorgeous cross to Micciche. The senior finished with her back heel to the far post, pushing HPU ahead 2-1.
Winthrop answered back in the 58th minute off a corner kick. Katie Colwick headed in the curled ball from Izzy Barton to the near post past Hank to once again even the match at 2-2. Both teams settled down after the opening flurry and the game headed to overtime where Beattie provided the heroics for the Panthers.
High Point held a 14-9 edge in shots with each team recording five shots on net. The winning goal was the only shot for either team in extra time. Hank made three saves for the Panthers to improve to 7-6-1 on the campaign.
HPU remains at Vert Stadium for its final regular season home contest on Wednesday against Campbell. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.