BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team used a well-balanced effort on both sides of the field to rocket past Gardner-Webb 18-2 in the Panthers’ Big South opener Saturday inside Spangler Stadium.
With the win, HPU improves to 5-0 all-time in league openers and 27-2 (.931) in conference play since the program’s inception in 2011.
A season-high 24 Panthers saw the field on Saturday while 13 student-athletes registered a point on the day. HPU held strong advantages in shots (40-11), shots on goal (32-9) and ground balls (19-14) and was +9 (13-4) in the draw control battle.
“This was a nice team win,” head coach Lyndsey Boswell said. “We received contributions from so many players on the roster and it was great to see the depth of our team on display today. It’s always a good feeling to start conference play with a win and this momentum will help us moving forward as we prepare for Presbyterian Monday.”
Senior Julia Burns starred for the Panthers in goal Saturday, allowing just two goals while making seven saves in a full 60 minutes of action. It marked the fewest goals allowed by Burns in a full game in her career.
The two goals allowed by the Panthers marked the fewest given up by the team since a 20-2 win at Campbell on April 15, 2013.
In her first game back from injury, redshirt-junior Emilie Pugliese paced the Panthers with three goals on the day. Freshman Erica Perrotta added three points (2g, 1a) and a pair of draw controls while junior Leah Pace matched Perrotta’s scoring effort (2g, 1a) while picking up three ground balls on the day.
Junior Allie Foard added to her team-best point total with a pair of goals and an assist, while senior Katie McLaughlin picked up two ground balls and caused two turnovers to pace the HPU defensive effort. Freshman Darla Poulin picked up her first career points with a goal and an assist and freshman Michele Johnson also posted her first career score in a Panther uniform.
Senior Kendyl Gardner posted a pair of goals and is now just one goal away from becoming the fifth player in HPU history to reach the 100-goal plateau.
HPU tallied the first eight goals of the game in the opening 11 minutes. Gardner-Webb registered its first goal at the 17:23 mark of the first half but HPU responded with four more scores to take a 13-1 lead into the break. The Panthers held a 5-1 scoring advantage in the second half to head home with the 18-2 victory.
HPU has a quick turnaround and is back in action Monday night inside Vert Stadium. The Panthers will take on Presbyterian (3-7, 0-1) at 6 p.m.