Panthers Ground the Eagles in Big South Semifinals

HIGH POINT, N.C. Mackenzie Carroll had three goals and three assists to lead No. 1 seed High Point past No. 4 Winthrop, 17-8, in the semifinals of the Big South championship Friday at Vert Stadium on the campus of High Point University.

The defending champion Panthers advance to Sunday's championship game and will play the winner of No. 2 Davidson/No. 3 Longwood for the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. Sunday's game will air live on ESPN3 at 2:00 pm.

High Point (13-5) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 1:42 when Carroll set-up goals for Christine Dougherty and Emily Meier, respectively. Winthrop cut the lead to 2-1 on a score from Danielle Ellis before Meier and Alec Perry put the Panthers back ahead by three, 4-1 at the 21:50 mark. The Eagles countered with Mary Accomando's one-timer from Jenna Kasmarick, but High Point extended its advantage by four goals (6-2) with 19:27 left in the opening half.

Winthrop's Abigail Blevins' goal at 13:39 brought the Eagles to within three at 6-3, but the Panthers responded with four unanswered goals to take a 10-3 lead into intermission. Perry tallied three first half goals, while Carroll had one score and three helpers. Meier and Kendyl Gardner also had two goals apiece in the opening stanza.

High Point opened the second half with three scores to take a double-digit lead at the 24:19 mark. Sara Kuhlman scored the first two goals with Carroll netting an unassisted goal for the 10-point margin. Kasmarick ended the Eagles' 21:37 scoring drought with a goal at the 22:02 mark, and Sydney Cope followed with a tally seven minutes later. After the Panthers went back up by 10 with 12:10 remaining, Winthrop scored three times in less than four minutes to make the score 15-8. But Carroll and Stephanie Pazulski found the back of the net to put the game out of reach.

In addition to three goals from Perry and Carroll, Gardner, Kuhlman and Dougherty finished with two goals each. Kuhlman added three assists. Kasmarik and Cope were Winthrop's top scorers with two goals apiece, while Shannon Gallagher and Kasmarick each notched two assists.

Julia Burns earned the win in the cage for HPU as she saved six shots. Camille King suffered the loss for Winthrop and finished with seven stops. High Point notched 16 ground balls compared to Winthrop's 7, and the Panthers held a 14-13 edge in draw controls.


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