• Sophomore Renato Punyed scored in the 109th minute to give HPU the double-overtime win.
• Senior Mamadee Nyepon was involved in all three Panther goals, scoring twice and adding an assist.
• Nyepon’s goals give him 40 for his career, a new HPU all-time record.
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Sophomore Renato Punyed scored in the 109th minute to give the High Point University men’s soccer team a thrilling 3-2 over Winthrop on the road in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Saturday night.
“This was a very much needed three points to stay in the race for the Big South regular season,” head coach Dustin Fonder said. “I am proud of the guys for getting a hard fought win on the road against a very good team. We continued our spell of good play tonight and we were rewarded for that good play with the win.”
High Point and Winthrop were knotted at 2-2 in the closing minutes of the second overtime period when senior Mamadee Nyepon found Punyed in space at the top of the box. Punyed received the ball moving to the right and hit a shot back across the grain to the left post for the game winner.
The win improves HPU’s record to 7-6-1 overall and 4-1-0 in the Big South this season. Winthrop drops to 10-3-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the Big South.
Nyepon scored two goals to go along with his assist and moved into first place in the HPU all-time record book with 40 career goals. The senior ranks among the nation’s leaders this season with 11 goals and 24 points.
“Mamadee has been an incredible player and ambassador for us from the day he committed,” Fonder said. “He is very deserving of this honor and it has been a privilege to coach him over these past four seasons.”
Winthrop jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute when the Eagles took advantage of an HPU mistake to score the first goal of the game. Two Panther defenders collided on a ball into the box and Max Hasenstab scored with his first touch to put WU up a goal.
Nyepon scored his first goal of the night in the 44th minute to tie the score at 1-1 heading into halftime. Freshman Avery Ryan dribbled past a WU defender on the right side of the penalty area and delivered a cross to the far post where Nyepon cut inside and headed the ball just inside the post for the goal.
The forward found the back of the net a second time in the 64th minute to put High Point in front by a score of 2-1. Nyepon ran onto a ball over the top from freshman Ebe Kudolo and muscled off a Winthrop defender before slotting a shot past the on-rushing keeper to put the Panthers ahead.
Just five minutes after Nyepon put HPU in front, Winthrop came back to tie the game at 2-2 with a goal by Pol Sole. Sam Schmidt was able to dribble past a sliding Austin Yearwood and deliver a cross from the right side to Sole in the box who finished with his first touch, tying the game.
The contest between the Panthers and Eagles was back and forth all night with neither team ever able to take control of the action. Winthrop finished with a 17-16 edge in shots while HPU had a 10-5 edge in shots on goal.
Redshirt-junior Kody Palmer made three saves in the contest to improve to 4-4-1 in goal this season. Guilherme Avelar stopped seven HPU shots in a losing effort for Winthrop.
High Point continues its current three-game road swing on Wednesday, Oct. 29, when the team travels to Buies Creek, North Carolina to face Campbell in Big South action. The game will kickoff at 7 p.m.