Three Second Half Goals Lift HPU MSOC To Fourth Win

Posted by Press Release on September 5, 2018 at 8:53 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• A three-goal second half delivered High Point University men’s soccer to their fourth straight win this Tuesday
• Junior forward Bana Ganidekam delivered the second brace of his career, as the Panthers erased a 2-0 deficit in the opening 45 minutes

GREENSBORO, N.C. – After a disappointing first, High Point University men’s soccer poured in three goals in the second half of Tuesday’s match against UNCG, taking home their seventh straight win against the Spartans 3-2.

The home team did not waste any time against the Panthers, scoring in the 5th minute off a missed assignment on set pieces.

Despite their attempts to pull back even with their hosts on a trio of shots from Ryan Inman, Jonathan Bolanos and Lalas Ayertey, HPU would cede another goal to the Spartans before the end of the half. UNCG forward Tyson Hichman put away the easy finish after a deflected ball landed directly before him just above the six-yard box, as the Panthers took a 2-0 deficit into the break.

The second half would be a wildly different affair, with visiting High Point controlling pace of play from the first to last whistle and outshooting UNCG 11-5 in the latter 45 minutes.

“We talked to them at halftime and we were absolutely excellent [in the second half]” said Head Coach EJ O’Keeffe. “The best 45 minutes we’ve put together this year, and potentially since I’ve been the head coach. We were top-class and absolutely deserve [the win].”

Just recently named Big South Attacking Player of the Week, junior transfer Ilias Kosmidis scored his third goal of the year in the 64th minute to cut the hosts lead in half 2-1, before a pair of goals from junior Bana Ganidekam secured the night’s victory.

The Panthers continued to poach the left side, finally finding the night’s equalizer on the first Ganidekam’s pair. Making a run down the left wing, Big South Freshman of the Week honoree Tony Pineda made a beautiful cut at the goal line past a Spartan defender to deliver a cross to the streaking Ganidekam on the backdoor. The forward from Accra, Ghana delivered a perfectly timed jump to put away his second goal of the year, and put his side even with UNCG at two apiece in the 74th.

O’Keeffe’s squad refused to let up pressure in the latter stages of the second half, unwilling to settle for overtime. With just seven minutes remaining the Panthers would get their opportunity on a perfectly run play from Bolanos, Siggi Benonysson and Ganidekam.

After beating a pair of UNCG defenders, Bolanos played a near post ball to Benonysson, who in a notion of creativity, used a back heel to deliver a perfect ball to the awaiting Ganidekam, who stood beofore a yawning UNCG net.

The junior delivered his final shot of the night with poise, to put the Panthers ahead 3-2 in the 84th, allowing HPU to run out the final six minutes of the match, and claim their fourth straight victory to start 2018.

>> Ganidekam’s brace is the second of his career, scoring a pair of goals against UNC Asheville the previous season
>> With a goal from Kosmidis and an assist from Pineda, the junior-freshman pair are currently tied with a team-high seven points
>> With a three-score night, the Panthers have already delivered 10 goals this season while allowing just five
>> Starting goalkeeper Keegan Meyer made four saves on the night, including a point-blank stop in the 77th minute, to give HPU the opportunity for a 3-2 win

• The Panthers matchup with Elon in their home opener, hosting the Phoenix at 7 p.m. this Saturday
• HPU is 28-12-12 against Elon, losing its most recent contest with the Phoenix 3-0

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