• Junior Allie Foard led HPU with two goals in the contest to post the seventh multi-goal effort of her career
• Junior Kristina Renner added a goal and an assist while registering a pair of draw controls
• HPU returns to the Triad to host its home opener against Oregon on Sunday (Feb. 15) at noon
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team (0-1) dropped a 19-5 contest to No. 2 North Carolina (3-0) in its season opener on Friday night at Fetzer Field.
UNC led 14-2 at the half but held just a 5-3 goal margin in the second half as the Panthers fought for 10 ground balls in the stanza and put together a series of strong possessions.
Junior Allie Foard led HPU with two goals to post the seventh multi-goal scoring effort of her career while junior Kristina Renner posted two points on a goal and an assist while adding a pair of draw controls. Seniors Stephanie Pazulski and Abby Berrettone each registered a goal for HPU.
The Panthers moved the ball well on the offensive end of the field and posted an assist on all five goals Friday. In addition to Renner, juniors Emily Meier and Leah Pace, sophomore Samantha Brown and freshman Erica Perrotta also distributed assists on the night.
“The draw was the difference in the game. It came down to possessions,” head coach Lyndsey Boswell said. “We had some great possessions and moments when we had the ball but we just didn’t have enough of them. I’m proud of the fight the girls put up. I didn’t think they gave up and they really focused on sticking to our game plan.”
UNC held a 20-6 edge in draw controls in the game and also held advantages in shots (38-8) and ground balls (26-17), although HPU picked up 10 ground balls to North Carolina’s 12 in the second half.
Senior Julia Burns played all 60 minutes in goal and made nine saves on the night, while Meier picked up a team-high three ground balls for HPU.
The Tar Heels scored the first six goals of the game before HPU struck for its first score at the 18:12 mark. Pace lobbed a perfect pass to Pazulski who beat UNC’s Kaylee Waters and buried it in the back of the cage.
After a UNC goal, the Panthers struck again, as Berrettone rifled a shot into the net off a good feed from Meier to pull HPU within five (7-2) with 17:06 to go in the half. But from there, the Tar Heels scored the final seven goals of the half to take a 14-2 lead into the break.
HPU put together a number of solid offensive possessions in the first half but struggled to gain control of the ball as UNC held a 13-3 edge in draw controls and was +7 (14-7) in ground balls.
After a UNC goal to start the second half, Foard struck with her first goal of the season to put the score at 15-3 with 21:39 to play in the game. HPU posted back-to-back goals late in the second half, as Foard struck off a solid feed from Perrotta, then Renner notched her goal with 3:20 left in the game.
“We competed throughout the game and it was nice to see some of the younger girls get in there and be successful,” Boswell added. “As a young team we just have to keep learning. Hopefully they learned a lot from playing a top team like North Carolina. We’ll get better.”
The Panthers open their home slate Sunday (Feb. 15) with a contest against Oregon inside Vert Stadium. First draw is scheduled for noon.
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