Site: Rock Hill, S.C. (Eagle Field)
Score: High Point 3, Winthrop 0
Records: High Point (2-0, 1-0), Winthrop (0-1, 0-1)
Next HPU Event: Sunday, February 28st, — at Campbell (Buies Creek, N.C.)
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s soccer team opened up Big South play with a dominant 3-0 victory over Winthrop at Eagle Field in Rock Hill, S.C. Sam Gerhart continued her hot play to start the season with a hat trick in the win. Gerhart was assisted on two goals by junior forward Skyler Prillaman, who had her first two assists of the season. Morgan Hairston also blanked the Eagles for a second consecutive shutout to start the season.
“To go on the road for our first conference game, score three phenomenal goals, and come away with a clean sheet; our coaching staff couldn’t be more proud of this group,” Coach Brandi Fontaine said after the 3-0 victory. We have some things to improve on, but anytime you can walk away with a big win and gain key learning experiences is always a positive. We are excited to see Gerhart back from her injury and have a huge impact in these first couple of games. She worked hard in her recovery and we are glad to see the time and investment she has put in finally paying off. Morgan had another great game for us in the net and it’s great to see her confidence starting to shine through and the confidence that our staff and team has in her.”
The Panthers opened up the scoring in the 12th minute of the match when they earned a corner kick.
Junior attacking midfielder Carsyn Gold guided in a sublime left-footed corner where Gerhart met near the far corner of the goalie box and acrobatically headed in past Winthrop’s keep to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. The Panthers continued to apply the pressure and were rewarded later in the first half in the 28th minute. Freshman center back Alex Deperno won a ball in the defensive half and delivered a long ball over the top of the Eagle defense to Prillaman. Prillaman threaded a pass between two Eagle defenders to a cutting Gerhart. Gerhart dribbled to her right and fired a hard low shot across the goal and into the back of the net to increase the Panther lead to 2-0. The Panther defense continued to play stout the remainder of the half and the Panthers took the 2-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Panthers’ attack increased and resulted in numerous additional shots and chances to score. Gerhart had an excellent chance for her hat trick in the 52nd minute when she headed in a cross from the right just over the bar. The Panthers continued to pepper the Winthrop keeper with shots in the second half and they were finally rewarded in the 84th minute when this time Gerhart would not be denied. Prillaman had a long run down the right side of the field and cut back to the middle of the field and delivered a class pass right between two defenders. Gerhart would not be denied and chipped a ball into the top left corner of the net for the 3-0 lead and the first Panthers hat trick since Taylor Parker achieved the feat back in the 2013 season against VMI.
Hairston picked up her second consecutive shutout in her second career start as a Panther and finished with 4 saves in the win.
The Panthers have not started 1-0 in conference play since the 2017 season.
UP NEXT: Big South play continues for HPU as the Panthers travel to Buies Creek, NC on Sunday, February 28th against Campbell. The game kicks off at 6:00 pm and will be streamed on ESPN+.