Site: Boiling Springs, NC (Greene-Harbison Stadium)
Score: High Point 3, Gardner-Webb 2 (OT)
Records: High Point 5-7-2 (5-2), Gardner Webb 6-11 (3-5)
BOILING SPRINGS, NC – Salome Prat provided the Panthers heroics with a late goal in the 108th minute of play to lead the Panthers to a 3-2 victory over Gardner-Webb and earn their fifth Big South conference win of the season. After the Panthers provided consistent pressure throughout OT, they were finally rewarded late when Prat buried a long shot past the goalie from Gardner-Webb to secure all three points and the victory for HPU. The Panthers came from behind two times in this game to draw level and finally earn the victory late. Senior Lauren Mazich provided the game-tying goal at 2-apiece in the 81st minute and senior Juliette Vidal scored the first goal for the Panthers in the 1st half to draw level via a header.
Brandi Fontaine: Today we were dealt challenges in several different ways and no matter what was thrown at us we dug deep and found a way to conquer it! We started off with transportation issues and then to go down twice in this game and come back both times says a lot about the heart and fight this group has in them. After GW’s first goal went in you could just feel their desire to win this game. The passion they played with and disciplined they had to remain true to our identity, even when it seemed like the odds were stacked against us, was truly incredible.
The Panthers fell behind early in the contest as the Runnin’ Bulldogs got on the board in the third minute of action.
Gardner-Webb took a short corner kick and the ball eventually found its way to Maddie Turlington. She crossed the ball in front of the net and Jaasiel Forde was able to slide and put it in the back of the next to give Gardner-Webb the early 1-0 lead.
However, HPU was able to put the early defensive lapse behind them and continued to put the pressure on Gardner-Webb. Lindsey Dehaven nearly set up Emily Mashinski for the equalizer in the 13th minute, but the goalie was able to gather the dangerous ball in front of the net. Magdalena Schwarz had a strong shot on goal in the 25th minute of action that was saved by the keeper. Dehaven nearly set up Schwarz in the 30th minute of action, but the cross was just close enough for the goalie to make a play on it at the last moment. However, the resilient Panthers would not be denied in the 38th minute of play. Carsyn Gold delivered a corner kick from the right side and Vidal delivered a rocket header into the back of the right side of the net, a shot in which the goalie had no chance to make a save. The Panthers finished the first half as the aggressor, outshooting the Runnin’ Bulldogs 7-1 as the game entered halftime tied at 1 goal apiece.
The Panthers continued to apply all the pressure in the second half. After a Gardner-Webb foul in the 62nd minute, Vidal just sent a free-kick high as she was looking for a brace and the lead. High Point continued to push forward in the attacking half and had a shot on goal by Skyler Prillaman in the 66th minute and a near miss on a bicycle kick from Salome Prat. The Panthers also attempted to capitalize on a free kick just out of the eighteen yard box, but the keeper was able to make the save on the shot by Chloe Le Franc.
However, Gardner-Webb was able to take the lead in the 72nd minute after a deep ball in on a free-kick that was headed home across the net by Turlington to give the Runnin’ Bulldogs the 2-1 lead.
The Panthers would not be denied as they continued to push Gardner-Webb. Senior Lauren Mazich was subbed into the game in the 78th minute of play and her impact was immediately felt. Le Franc gathered a ball on the right side of the box and sent a cross across the goal.
Mazich was able to get up in the air and head the ball into the lower-left corner of the net and tie the game for the Panthers.
The Panthers thought they took the lead later that minute when Dehaven put a ball in the back of the net, however, she was ruled offside. Neither team was able to score in the final 8 minutes of play and the contest headed to overtime.
The Panthers continued to dominate the attacking half in the first overtime with three shots on goal, the best of which came from Salome Prat in the 99th minute. Prat rose and headed a cross into what looked like the back of the net, but was denied by the Gardner-Webb keeper.
However, in the second session of overtime, Prat would not be denied and her long hard shot was driven past the keeper and propelled the Panthers to a victory celebration.
The Panthers outshot Gardner-Webb 21-5 and had 16 shots on goal compared to only 3 for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. The Panthers had ten corner kicks in the game compared to only one for Gardner-Webb and were constantly putting pressure in the attacking half on Gardner-Webb. The goals scored were the 4th of the season for Prat, the 2nd of the season for Vidal, and the 1st of the season for Mazich.
The Panthers will take on Longwood, who currently sits in 2nd place in the Big South standings, on Wednesday, October 20th in Farmville, VA at 7:00 pm.