HPU WSOC Panthers Take Extra Time Loss In Regular Season Finale Versus Longwood

• High Point University women’s soccer falls in its final regular season matchup of 2018, dropping a decision to visiting Longwood 2-1 in overtime
• Having already clinched a postseason spot, the No. 8 seed Panthers will face No. 1 Radford in the approaching Big South quarterfinals this Saturday at 7 p.m.
• Freshman Brooke Parsons collected her team’s lone tally, scoring her third of the year in the 53rd minute

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University women’s soccer’s fate is sealed this Tuesday, as a 2-1 loss to Longwood bumps the Panthers back to the eighth seed in this year’s approaching Big South Conference tournament. No. 8 HPU will travel to faceoff with No. 1 Radford in this weekend’s quarterfinal, after falling to the Lancers in overtime this Tuesday.e

“Once we weathered the storm, I felt like we really settled into playing our game,” said Head Coach Brandi Fontaine on Tuesday’s matchup with Longwood. “…After that, overall I was pretty happy. We made some tactical adjustments for the end of the first half and into the second half, just to give us a better opportunity…”

Starting goalkeeper Emily Lyon was kept busy in the opening half, with Longwood steering five shots on goal in the first 45 minutes. Facing 12 shots in total, Lyon came up with all the early answers, tying a career-high with five saves and holding the visiting Lancers scoreless. Freshman forward Brooke Parsons was responsible for the Panthers’ lone shot on goal in the opening half, as she would finish the night tied for a career-high two shots on target.

The HPU offense became more active in the second, with Parsons getting her third tally of the year on the counter attack. Controlling the ball down the right wing, the freshman delivered a shot from an impossible angle for her team’s go ahead in the 53rd minute. Parsons struck her attempt from the ride side of the 18, delivering a heater that would clear the keepers head and deflect in off the inside of the left post.

“Brooke’s just been stepping up in these moments and finishing opportunities, and that’s what we’ve needed,” said Fontaine. “She’s given us that confidence boost that we need. To see her having those moments is huge for us as we go into the [Big South] tournament.”

The goal gives Parsons’ a point-streak of three straight games, as the freshman has delivered three goals and four assists in conference-play alone this year.

The visitors clawed their way back less than 15 minutes later however, delivering a match-tying goal in the 65th. A through ball played to the top of the six was finished by a sprinting Camryn Conklin, whose goal would force the Panthers to their seventh overtime match this season.

High Point was the attacker at the start of extra time, creating multiple chances on set pieces. Forward Caitlin Shepherd delivered a header that would fo wide of the Longwood net, while Daria Britton’s attempt off the free kick was unable to test the Longwood keeper. With their chances going wayward in the first OT, the Panthers watched the night’s third goal come off the foot of a Longwood striker, as the Lancers scored the game-winner in the 104th from the top of the 18.

The home loss secures an eighth seed for the Panthers in this year’s Big South conference tournament, as they face a familiar foe in No. 1 Radford this Saturday at 7 p.m.

“We’re going to prepare to play them differently than we did last game,” said Fontaine. “I’m excited about the opportunity to go play Radford, and to take that opportunity to go after the top team in the conference.”

>> Lyon’s shutout 45 minutes in the first half gives her a conference-best 0.79 goals against average on the year, holding opponents scoreless in eight of her last 10 appearances
>> Freshmen Charla Ward (71) and Daria Britton (45) each tallied a career-high in minutes played against the Lancers, with the latter taking the second shot of her career
>> Parsons’ four helpers in conference play are just one off a Big South-best, while her 10 points in conference-play put her in sixth overall

• The No. 8 Panthers will face No. 1 Radford on the road this Saturday in a Big South quarterfinal scheduled for 7 p.m.
• HPU dropped its regular season contest to the Highlanders, losing an overtime decision 3-2 at the end of September
• Despite the recent decision, High Point has outscored the Highlanders 10-5 in their previous five meetings