LYNCHBURG, Va. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team put forth a tremendous team effort but came up just short, dropping a 16-15 overtime contest to Liberty on Friday at the LU Lacrosse Field.
High Point lead for much of the game and held a 14-12 advantage with 1:21 to play. But the Flames posted two goals to send the game into overtime, then recorded two of the three goals in the extra session to escape with the victory.
“I’m hoping we can put together a full game during the regular season,” head coach Lyndsey Boswell said. “We are getting better every day but we need to step up on one end of the field, then carry that play to the other end of the field before we can expect to win games.”
The game was evenly matched throughout, with HPU holding slim advantages in ground balls (22-20) and saves (13-10). Liberty was +4 (35-31) in shots and tallied 18 draw controls to High Point’s 17.
Junior Allie Foard put together another explosive offensive performance for the Panthers with a game-high six points on five goals and an assist. Senior Kendyl Gardner added three goals for HPU while junior Leah Pace notched two goals and an assist while registering four draw controls. Senior Stephanie Pazulski posted her second-straight three point effort (2g, 1a).
In the midfield, freshman Erica Perrotta grabbed four draws, three ground balls and caused four turnovers, while junior defender Tori Dunster added a career-high four caused turnovers and two ground balls.
Senior goalkeeper Julia Burns made a number of key saves and finished with a game-high 13 in 66 minutes in the cage.
Liberty put the first goal on the board, but from there, HPU utilized a powerful 4-0 run over the next four minutes to surge ahead 4-1 at the 23:15 mark of the opening half. The Flames scored at the 21:01 mark, but HPU propelled back with another 3-0 spurt to go up 7-3 with 13:57 to go in the stanza.
A Kendyl Gardner goal gave HPU an 8-4 advantage with 5:58 to play in the half, but Liberty raced back with a 3-0 run to move within one at 8-7. The Flames then had the ball, but HPU denied Liberty on consecutive possessions and received a late goal from Gardner to take a 9-7 lead into the break.
Foard posted her fourth goal of the game at the 28:10 mark of the second half to put HPU back up three (10-7). Liberty cut it to 10-9, but the Purple & White used a 4-1 run over the next 15 minutes to build a 13-10 lead with 6:09 to go in the game. The run was punctuated by a blitzing goal from Perrotta.
Gardner scored with 1:21 to go to make 14-12, but Liberty posted the final two goals of regulation. Burns stopped a point blank Liberty shot as time expired to send the game into overtime.
Liberty scored the first two goals of OT before Pace moved the Panthers within one (16-15) with 50 seconds to play. But the Panthers could not score on their final possession and Liberty hung on for the win.
High Point returns to action Sunday with a 3 p.m. matchup vs. Longwood inside Vert Stadium.