HPU Men’s Soccer Comes Back For Thrilling 4-3 Win Over Radford In Big South Semifinals

Posted by Press Release on November 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

• The High Point University men’s soccer team overcame a 3-1 deficit with three goals in the final 11 minutes to pick up a 4-3 win over Radford in the Big South Semifinals
• The fourth and final Panther goal came on an own goal with 27 seconds remaining.
• HPU advances on the Big South Championship on Sunday, Nov. 15 where the team will face top-seeded Winthrop at 2 p.m.

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team scored three goals in the final 11 minutes to earn a 4-3 comeback victory over second-seeded Radford in the Big South Semifinals on Friday night at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. The game-winning goal came on a Highlander own goal with 27 seconds left to play.

“I am so proud of this team and the fight they showed against a very good Radford team here tonight,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. ” The game really opened up in the second half. We found a goal but then they put us under immense pressure and we didn’t deal with it well. This group has unbelievable character. We have talked about what we want to do and the guys really stuck to the process. I am happy for our guys. Now we will adjust and give it a go on Sunday against a really talented Winthrop team.”

High Point trailed 3-1 with just over 11 minutes to play when redshirt-junior Erien Campbell scored with a lofted shot over the head of Radford keeper Aitor Pouseu Blanco from the edge of the penalty area to pull the Panthers back within one. The goal was the first of the season for Campbell.

HPU continued to push forward and found a game-tying goal just two minutes later when the Panthers dispossessed Radford deep in its own zone and sophomore Ebe Kudolo found junior Chris Ramsell with a cross to the far post. The High Point attacker out jumped his marker and headed it just inside the post to knot the game at 3-3. The goal was his second of the tournament and the fifth of the season for the junior.

The game winner for the Panthers came on a counter attack with less than a minute left on the clock when junior Renato Punyed hit a long ball up the middle trying to connect with sophomore Avery Ryan. Radford’s Bismark Amofah made a lunging clearance while running back towards his goal and the ball skipped off the ground and curled inside the left post for an own goal, giving High Point a 4-3 lead.

The Panthers still needed to defend in the final moments though as Radford earned a free kick in a dangerous position with 12 second left. Jamie Summers took the kick for the Highlanders and sent it over the crossbar, securing the win for HPU.

Neither team could get on the scoreboard in the first half, though both teams had good chances. High Point nearly took the lead on a header by Ryan off a corner kick in the 14th minute but the shot was cleared off the line. The Panthers returned the favor just a minute later when freshman Rashid Tetteh cleared a chipped shot by the Highlanders’ Evan Szklennik with a spectacular scissor kick. Ramsell was then denied in the 23rd minute when his header was stopped by a diving save from Pouseu Blanco.

Ryan broke the scoreless deadlock in the 56th minute with his eighth goal of the season to put HPU in front, 1-0. The sophomore ran onto a long ball over the top from Punyed and headed it just around the on-rushing Pouseu Blanco before tapping it into the empty net to put High Point on top.

The Panther lead lasted just nine minutes before Radford scored three goals in a five-minute span to take a 3-1 lead. Finn Tiedemann tied the game in the 65th minute with a slotted shot inside the right post off a cross from the end line by Fraser Colmer. The Radford defender was again the distributor on the second goal, finding the head of Daniel O’Keefe on a free kick to put RU in front in the 67th minute. The third and final goal came in the 69th minute when Tiedemann clanged a shot off the cross bar and Sivert Daehlie headed in the rebound for a 3-1 lead.

Radford outshot High Point by a 12-10 margin but it was the Panthers that finished with an 8-6 edge in shots on goal. Redshirt-senior Kody Palmer had two saves in the win for HPU.

High Point advances on to the Big South Championship game on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m., where the team will face top-seeded Winthrop. The Panthers and Eagles played to a 1-1 draw at Vert Stadium earlier this season. Sunday will mark High Point’s third time in the Big South Championship game. The Panthers are 0-2-0 in those appearances with a loss to Winthrop in 2006 and to Coastal Carolina in 2010.

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