College Sports

Lady Eagles fall to High Point

Winthrop coach Melissa Heinz didn't mince words Saturday when it came time to assess the Lady Eagles' performance in a 2-1 Big South Conference soccer match loss to High Point.

"It was a nightmare," Heinz said after a long meeting with her team. "It was, without a doubt, the worse game I've seen this team play.

"I'm stunned because I would have never thought this group would have played like they did.

"We didn't do anything out there to win, so we got back what we put into it. We deserved to lose."

Not only will the effort put forth in the regular-season finale weigh heavily on the fragile psyche of the Lady Eagles, who closed out the regular-season 6-7-4 overall and 4-3 in the BSC, but it dropped Winthrop into a middle-of-the-pack spot in the standings.

A win would have pushed the Lady Eagles in a solid position to get the second seed in this week's conference tournament. Coastal Carolina clinched the regular-season championship.

The three-day conference championship kicks off Thursday in Charleston. High Point (9-7-2, 5-2) and will finish second or third.

"Right now, we're looking at fourth," Heinz said. "We've got to get things fixed. It's like I told the kids after the game, if we play the way we did today, we'll come home the first day.

"Today, we played awful, but we get a chance to come back and play again. That won't happen again."

Heinz said the Lady Eagles never found a rhythm or a connection to one another the entire game.

"I think we had a pretty good first half," said Winthrop's Chelsea White, who put the Lady Eagles up 1-0 in the 38th minute. White took a pass from Stevie Lucas and beat Lady Panther keeper Marisa Abbott, who had ventured out past the 18-yard line. It was White's eighth goal of the season.

White had a similar opportunity 15 minutes into the match, but her shot from just out of the 18-yard box sailed high.

"We just didn't have any consistency," White went on. "Hopefully, we can learn from it."

High Point dominated the final 45 minutes.

The Lady Panthers scored the tying goal in the 51st minute when Sara Rager beat All-Big South Conference first-team keeper Demi Poulos.

Ten minutes later, High Point's Amy Anzovino took a crossing pass from Rager and scored.

"We're tough," Heinz said. "These kids are resilient, and I believe that they'll use this for motivation, and come tournament, we'll do what we need to do."

• NOTE: Saturday was the last home match of the season for six seniors.

Honored on Senior Day were keeper Kelly Turney, midfielder Taylor Kreis, midfielder Jodi Kemp, defender Ashley Bader, forward Ashley Hallmon and forward Michelle Burton.

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