Campbell to play for its first Big South title vs. High Point Sunday

Kayla Reilly (Coutesy of Todd Drexler)
Kayla Reilly (Coutesy of Todd Drexler)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Campbell will play for its first Big South women's lacrosse championship and the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday against High Point at Vert Stadium. First draw is set for noon.

The title game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Fans can also follow all the action with live stats available through gocamels.com. Live in-game updates will also be posted on the Camels' Twitter page, @GoCamelsWLAX.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

LAST TIME OUT: Campbell (10-7) won its first Big South semifinal game by an 11-9 margin over Winthrop. CU led by as many as 8-2 in the first half and scored two late goals to pull away for good. Freshman Alex Salim made 11 key saves in goal in her first career start and Kayla Reilly had five points on two goals and three assists.

ALL-BIG SOUTH HONORS: A program-record six Camels picked up All-Big South honors headlined by first team selections Kayla Reilly, Melissa Placek and Merredith Bechler. Mackenzie Koeller was named the Scholar-Athlete of the year and was a honorable mention selection. Megan Reilly and Erin O'Hara landed on the second team. O'Hara became the first Camel to earn four-straight all-conference selections.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: The winner of today's contest will earn the Big South's berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Camels have never appeared in the event.

LAST TIME VS. THE PANTHERS: Campbell saw its five-game winning streak snapped by Big South leaders High Point by a 17-10 margin last month. It was a one-goal game late in the first half but the Panthers scored three unanswered before the break and the Camels couldn't get any closer the rest of the way. Tina Ricci and Mackenzie Koeller led Campbell with three goals each.

SETTING RECORDS: The Camels' 6-1 Big South record is the best in program history and their second place finish led to the program's first BSC Championship quarterfinal bye. Overall, CU matched its highest regular season win total from last season but finished with the highest winning percentage in program history (.563).

ON THE OFFENSE: Campbell features a balanced attack from a variety of scoring options. 12 different players have found the back of the cage for the Camels this season in an offense that is averaging 12.00 goals per game. That's currently the fourth-highest tally in the Big South.

LEADING THE WAY: Kayla Reilly and Placek are the leaders of the Camel offense. Reilly has cumulated a team-high 69 points on 28 goals and 41 assists. She is averaging a league-high 2.41 assists per game, which also stands 13th nationally. Placek has a team-high 43 goals and 12 assists to go with a team-high 88 draw controls. That's an average of 5.18 draws per contests, which ranks fourth in the BSC and 25th nationally.

A LITTLE DEFENSIVE: Campbell's scoring defense stands third in the league, as opponents are averaging 12.24 goals per game. The Camels feature a veteran defensive unit headlined by All-Big South selection Erin O'Hara and fifth-year senior April Reinhart. All-Big South honoree Megan Reilly has also started every game.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: All-Big South first team goalkeeper Merredith Bechler has started 15 games in goal, but all three Camel goalkeepers have seen time in the cage this season. Bechler owns a 0.394 save percentage, which ranks third in the Big South. Her 7.27 saves per game and 12.31 goals against average also stands third in the league. Salim has appeared in five games and has 21 saves while Kylie Haarhoff also has four appearances and earned the win over La Salle.

EARLY IMPACT: Numerous members of the Camels' freshman class have already made significant impacts early in their careers. Tina Ricci ranks fourth on the team in points with 39 on 24 goals and 15 assists. Sam Carey has started every contest and ranks second on the team in draw controls with 62.

CONTROLLING THE DRAW: Campbell is averaging 14.76 draw controls per contest. That tally stands second in the Big South and ranks 14th nationally.

LIMITING MISCUES: CU is averaging the fewest turnovers in the league with just 16.06 miscues per game, which stands 35th nationally.

HEAD COACH DAWN EASLEY: Campbell head coach Dawn Easley is in her fourth season in Buies Creek and has led the Camels to their two most successful seasons in program history. She coached CU in its first postseason victory to advance to its first Big South semifinals last season. Easley has mentored 18 All-Big South honorees in three years at Campbell.

ALL-TIME SERIES: High Point has won all six all-time meetings against Campbell. The Panthers' 111 goals against the Camels are the most surrendered against one team and CU has only scored 39 times on HPU. High Point defeated the Camels in last year's Big South Championship semifinals.

SCOUTING THE PANTHERS: High Point is riding a 14-game winning streak including Friday's 20-9 semifinal victory over Liberty. The Panthers own the top offense (15.76 gpg) and defense (9.71 gpg) in the league and their 12.82 caused turnovers per game stands third nationally. Samantha Brown was named the Big South Offensive Player of the Year while Christina Del Soto was honored as the Defensive Player of the Year. They headlined eight All-Big South selections for the Panthers.