Site: High Point, N.C. (Vert Stadium)
Score: High Point 3, Longwood 0
Records: High Point 9-7-2 (8-2), Longwood 8-8-4 (5-5-0)
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s soccer dominantly won 3-0 against Longwood in the Big South semifinal game to head to their second straight Big South conference title game. HPU took the lead in the 23rd minute off some beautiful soccer which ended in a Magdalena Schwarz goal. The Panthers continued their relentless pressure and added goals in the second half by Chloe Le Franc and Salome Prat to put away the Lancers and advance to the championship game. The Panthers will travel to Campbell on Sunday, November 7th at 1 pm to take on the defending Big South champion Camels.
Brandi Fotnaine: “Extremely proud of how the girls came out and played today. It is not easy to play a team four times in six months. Longwood is a really good team and they definitely brought it today but I just think our girls brought another level. We are excited to take this opportunity to go into a championship game on Sunday. We are ready for it, we are prepared for it, I’m just extremely proud of how we showed up today.”
The Panthers came out of the gates with tremendous pressure on the Longwood backline. Skyler Prillaman had two shots on goal within the first eight minutes of play and the Panthers constantly had the ball in the attacking half. The Panthers would finally be rewarded for their efforts in the 23rd minute. London Lewis held the ball up on the left side of the box and fed a pass to Emily Mashinski. Mashinski made a solid move in the box and found a cutting Schwarz who fired the ball into the bottom right side of the net beating the goalie. Goalie Morgan Hairston kept the Panthers in front with a diving save on the right side of the net in the 28th minute to deny Longwood in their best attempt in the first half. The Panthers continued their attacking play and outshot the Lancers 13-4 in the first half.
The Panthers continued to keep the pressure on Longwood and force them to defend early in the second half. The Panthers had five shots within the first 21 minutes of the second half and did not allow any shots by the Lancers during this time. After a foul on the Lancers in the 74th minute, the Panthers were able to capitalize. Alex Deperno set in a free-kick that was saved by the Longwood goalie. However, the deflection fell right to the feet of Le Franc and she buried the ball in the back of the next to double the Panthers lead to 2-0.
The Panthers added their final tally of the night only a few minutes later after Hairston gathered a ball in front of the net. Hairston boomed a ball down the field to midfield where it was headed and flicked on by Mashinski. Her header was perfectly directed to a cutting Salome Prat, who drove on goal and fired a wondergoal from the top left corner of the box to put an exclamation point on the Panthers’ day and give them a 3-0 lead. The second assist from Hairston was the first collegiate point of her career.
Hairston made one final beautiful save in the 88th minute to deny Longwood and keep a clean sheet for her fifth shutout of the season.
The Panthers controlled the pace of the game and outshot the Lancers 20-8 on the day. The Panthers also had eleven corner kicks on the day to only two for Longwood.
HPU heads to the championship game of the Big South Tournament where they will take on Big South regular-season champion, Campbell in Buies Creek, NC. The game will take place on Sunday, November 7th at 1 pm and the winner will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship. The Panthers are seeking their first NCAA tournament bid since the 2017 season.