April 13, 2011

High Point Hammers Liberty in NLC Victory

from press release

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- The High Point University women’s lacrosse team got four goals each from Grace Gaeng (Bel Air, Md./The John Carroll School (Maryland)) and Chelsea Thompson (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) en route to a 17-4 victory over Liberty on Wednesday afternoon in Lynchburg, Va. Mackenzie Carroll (Arnold, Md./Severn) posted three assists and three draw controls for HPU.

“Today was a great conference road win and a total team effort,” said HPU head coach Lyndsey Boswell. “We started a little slow, but definitely picked it up halfway through the first half. We have some work to do to get ready for Davidson this weekend. We’re anxious to see how we match up against them.”

The Panthers improved to 11-4 overall and 5-1 in the National Lacrosse Conference with the win, solidifying their second-place standing in the NLC. Liberty dropped to 5-8 overall and 2-4 in the NLC.

Behind Gaeng and Thompson’s four goals each, Alexis Goldman (Winter Springs, Fla./Winter Springs (St. Andrews Presbyterian)) scored three goals, Ashleigh Kassab (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) scored twice and four others hit the back of the net. Midfielders Christie Dougherty (Rocky Point, N.Y./Rocky Point) and Patricia Bigelow (Dunkirk, Md./St. Mary's) each picked up three ground balls, with Dougherty also scoring a goal. Goalie Lauren Hayes (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown (Connecticut)) made five saves and lowered her goals against average to 7.43. She ranked fifth in the nation in GAA entering the game.

Liberty’s Kristen Crowley scored two of her team’s four goals, while Jen Freymond picked up a goal, two assists and three ground balls. Liberty goalie Kristen Masullo made six saves for the Flames.

The Panthers jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first 10 minutes. Thompson netted two of the scores on assists from Carroll. Liberty’s Annessa Jamison scored with 18:54 left in the half before the Panthers scored three goals in five minutes for a commanding 6-1 lead. Liberty scored two of the next four goals to make it 9-3, but the Panthers continued to pull away with the last four goals of the half to make it 12-3 at the break.

Gaeng hit two milestones in the first half: she picked up her 20th assist on Thompson’s goal with 18:29 left and scored her 40th goal on a feed from Carroll with 12:51 left. She ranked 11th in the nation in points entering the game and posted six against Liberty, bringing her total to 62 (41-21-62). Thompson is close behind with a 38-17-55 scoring line.

High Point was able to get everyone on the field in the second half and controlled the game the rest of the way. HPU scored five goals in a span of 11 minutes, including two by Goldman, to go up 17-3 with 9:04 left in the game. Liberty got the final tally, a Crowley goal on an assist by Freymond.

High Point plays its final NLC regular-season game on Saturday when it travels to Davidson to take on the Wildcats at 1 p.m. They will then take an 11-day break before playing in the NLC Tournament April 29-May 1.

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