Kearney Catapults HPU WSOC Over Campbell, 1-0

• Sophomore Ashlyn Kearney scored her first career goal in the 78th minute off assists from senior Meredith Dunker and sophomore Alex Denny to lift High Point to a 1-0 triumph over Campbell.
• Senior goalkeeper Alex Hank made four saves, three in the second half, to record her sixth solo shutout of the season.
• The victory moved HPU into a three-way tie for first place in the Big South with one game remaining in the conference campaign.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s soccer team found a late goal from sophomore Ashlyn Kearney to spring past Campbell, 1-0, on Wednesday night at Vert Stadium. The victory moved High Point into a three-way tie atop the Big South standings heading into the final weekend of the conference season.

“I thought tonight was a tale of two halves,” head coach Marty Beall said. “In the first half, I thought we were fantastic, created some good chances, and were unlucky to not put a couple away. Campbell was fantastic in the second half and I thought they were unlucky to not score. Thankfully, Ashlyn Kearney found a way to score off a throw-in and our defense held up. Alex Hank and the back line were absolutely fantastic.”

High Point (9-7-1, 6-1-1) controlled a majority of the possession in the first half, but was unable to find a go-ahead tally. Senior Michele Micciche recorded four shots in a 16-minute span, including back-to-back attempts that were blocked and sent wide in the 26th minute. The Panthers held the Camels (9-6-1, 5-2-1) to just one shot in the opening stanza.

Following intermission, though, it was Campbell who held a majority of the chances, securing the first seven shots in the second half. Senior Alex Hank made a strong save in the 64th minute to keep the game scoreless.

The Panthers’ first shot of the half turned into the only goal of the night. In the 78th minute, junior Savannah Stoughton launched a throw-in from the left side that was headed back into the box by senior Meredith Dunker to the foot of sophomore Alex Denny. After getting a piece, Denny tapped the ball along to Kearney, who drilled the shot from 15 yards out to the top left corner for the 1-0 lead. It was the first goal of the sophomore’s career.

Hank was called upon to make two saves in the final 12 minutes, one on a header in the 79th minute and another on a strike from the conference’s top scorer, Alexa Genas, in the 84th minute. High Point withstood the pressure thanks to its formidable back line and held on for the win.

Campbell outshot High Point 11-2 in the second half, and 12-8 overall. However, both teams were credited with four shots on net. Hank’s four saves led to her sixth solo shutout of the year and increased her career total to 27.

Combined with Longwood’s victory over Liberty, HPU moved into a three-way tie for first place with the Flames and Lancers at 6-1-1 (19 points). All three teams have one game remaining on the road on Saturday. The Panthers can clinch at least a share of their second straight Big South regular season title with a victory in the final match of the season against Presbyterian. Kickoff from Clinton, S.C. is scheduled for 7 p.m.