• Sophomore Connor Cesar led HPU’s attack with a pair of shots, including one on net
• Redshirt-sophomore Keegan Meyer recorded three saves in net for the Panthers
• High Point wraps up its four-game road trip at Davidson on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
ELON, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team fell, 3-0, at Elon on Friday night at Rudd Field. HPU was within a goal until the final 15 minutes, when the Phoenix scored twice to pull away.
“Give credit to Elon for their performance,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “They dictated the way the match was played tonight and deserved the result. We need to be better and we will start that process tomorrow.”
The game was hotly contested throughout with neither team able to gain much momentum during the opening stages. The physicality, however, was evident from the beginning with three players being tended to for various injuries in the first 15 minutes.
Elon (3-0-1) was the first to seize momentum in the match, earning consecutive corner kicks 20 minutes in. However, the strong Panther (2-2-0) defense cleared away both chances.
Still, the Phoenix pushed and finally found an opportunity in the 42nd minute. A strong cross caused chaos in the box, and Elon was ultimately awarded a penalty kick following a takedown inside the 18’. Amir Berkane sent it right side past goalkeeper Keegan Meyer for a 1-0 advantage.
Defenses ruled the opening of the second half with each team recording only one shot in the first 20 minutes after halftime. High Point appeared to be gaining the edge, but in the 75th minute a counter attack led to a corner kick for Elon. After the initial chance was cleared, a second push crossed to the left post where Jaiden Fortune potted it for a 2-0 Phoenix lead.
High Point pressed forward with its best chance coming in the 79th minute on Connor Cesar’s shot that was saved at the near post by the Elon keeper. The Phoenix punched in another tally in the 82nd minute off a counter for the final margin.
Elon recorded its fourth consecutive shutout to begin the year, and outshot High Point 12-3. HPU was blanked for the first time in four games this season. Meyer made three saves in net for the Panthers, who dropped their second straight match.
HPU’s four-game road swing wraps up on Tuesday when the Panthers travel to Davidson. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.