• Trailing 8-3, HPU used a 5-0 run to tie the score at eight, but Oregon posted the game-winning goal with 4:12 remaining
• Senior attack Kendyl Gardner led HPU with four goals and picked up three ground balls
• Senior goalie Julia Burns posted a career-high 11 saves in the cage for the Panthers
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team put forth a furious second half rally that came up just short, as visiting Oregon held on for a 9-8 victory Sunday at Vert Stadium.
Trailing 8-3 with 20:07 to play, HPU (0-2) posted five-straight goals over the next 14 minutes to tie the score with 6:35 to go. But the Ducks’ Hayley Milner scored with 4:12 to go and the Panthers could not score on a final possession with less than a minute to play.
“We made some adjustments after Friday’s game and I thought we did a better job today of coming out strong and taking advantage of the possessions that we had,” head coach Lyndsey Boswell said. “With our game, there’s momentum swings and we were on the short side of the stick to start that swing. We regained momentum after winning some draw controls and being able to execute on our shots. That’s how we got back into the game, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”
Oregon (2-0) held a 24-20 edge in shots for the game, although the Panthers held a 10-9 edge in the second half where they outscored the Ducks, 5-4. Oregon was +1 (10-9) on the draw, but High Point held the advantage in ground balls at 21-19.
After not scoring Friday at No. 2 UNC, senior Kendyl Gardner exploded for four goals in Sunday’s contest, with six of her seven shots coming on goal. Junior Allie Foard tied her career high with four points on two goals and two assists, while also picking up a team-high five ground balls.
Sophomore Samantha Brown added a goal and an assist and caused a team-high two turnovers for HPU. Senior Julia Burns had a strong day in the cage for the Panthers, making a career-high 11 saves while allowing just nine goals in a full 60 minutes of action.
Gardner posted the first goal of the game off a good feed from junior Kristina Renner at the 24:28 mark of the first half. After an Oregon goal, HPU once again took the lead at 2-1 on a free position goal from Foard.
Oregon posted the next two scores to take a 3-2 lead, but Gardner’s second goal off an assist from junior Leah Pace tied the score at 3-3 with 13:25 to go in the half. Oregon posted the last two goals of the period to take a 5-3 lead into the break.
The Ducks kept their run going in the second half, registering three goals over the first 10 minutes of the period to build an 8-3 lead at the 20:07 mark. The HPU drought from first to second half totaled 23:18 minutes.
At that point, the Panthers began their ferocious comeback. Brown scored at the 19:02 mark off a good feed from junior Emily Meier to pull HPU within four (8-4). Then, Gardner and Foard scored back-to-back goals to cut the Ducks’ lead to two (8-6) with 11:06 to go. Less than a minute later, Gardner scored her fourth goal off a pass from Foard to cut it to 8-7. Neither team could score for the next four minutes, but freshman Erica Perrotta came up big at the 6:24 mark, as Brown found the freshman in transition who buried a shot into the back of the cage to make it 8-8.
Oregon went back up one (9-8) at the 4:12 mark, and after HPU forced a Duck turnover with less than two minutes to play, the Panthers could not score on their final possession.
The Purple & White will remain at home to battle ACC foe Virginia Tech (1-2) on Friday at 6 p.m.