HPU women roll into Big South lacrosse semifinals
During the first couple of possessions, the High Point University women’s lacrosse team showed a bit of first-round jitters.
After that, the Panthers shook Presbyterian.
Regular-season champ and No. 1 seed HPU scored four goals in the first 4:06, put 15 unanswered on the board in the first half and rolled to a 20-3 win over overmatched Presbyterian in an opening game in the Big South women’s lacrosse tournament.
The Panthers improve to 12-5 and will play fourth-seeded Winthrop in a semifinal game on Friday at 4 p.m. as HPU hosts the semifinals and finals. Eighth-seeded Presbyterian, which began the game with only three reserve position players, ends the season 4-14.
“Starting slow is something that’s been a problem for us all year,” HPU coach Lyndsey Boswell said. “Tonight, we did a better job. We were a little bit nervous for the first couple of possessions. But, we settled down and executed the game plan.”
The Panthers repeatedly cut through the Blue Hose defense for point-blank shots. The rout wasn’t unexpected because HPU topped PC 21-3 during the regular season.
“We weren’t thinking about the game we played against them,” Big South offensive player of the year Mackenzie Carroll said. “We were more concerned about how we needed to play.”
Kendyl Gardner scored twice, Carroll once and Big South Defensive player of the year Jasmine Jordan once in the early blitz. Boswell substituted freely after the first 10 minutes.
Sara Kuhlman led the Panthers with five goals. Allie Foard had four and Gardner three. Alec Perry, Abby Berrettone, Stephanie Pazulski, Samantha Brown, Christie Dougherty and Kasey Callaway also had one goal in addition to Carroll and Jordan.
Carroll also had six assists.
The Panthers held a 28-8 advantage in shots, 16-9 edge in ground balls and 18-7 edge in draw controls. Presbyterian had five saves to the Panthers’ two.
“We wanted to work on some things that we didn’t do well against Davidson and I thought we did that,” Boswell said. “We wanted to control most of the possessions and were successful doing that. Not one player stood out but I’m still impressed with our senior leadership.”