HPU MSOC Panthers Edge Out Tribe In Season Opener

Posted by Press Release on August 31, 2019 at 8:12 am under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University men’s soccer gets out to a hot start in 2019, defeating visiting William & Mary by a final score of 2-1 in the two clubs’ season opener. Senior Siggi Benonysson opened up the evening’s scoring, while freshman Jordan Lonchar acquired the game-winning tally in what was the first match of Zach Haines tenure as the head coach of the Panthers.

“In the first half we were pretty well in control of the game overall, just in terms of forcing play where we wanted, keeping our lines tight and staying organized defensively,” said Haines. We felt like we were not giving them too many opportunities in terms of creating quality chances because we felt like we were controlling the space well. We had some good moments with the ball, we started to look threatening, settling in and end up scoring a really good goal as a result of some of the good work we did in the attacking end….”

With William & Mary controlling the majority of possession in the opening 15 minutes, the final stages of the first half would belong solely to the Panthers, whose continued pressure broke the scoreless tie in the 36th minute. Controlling the ball on the right sideline, midfielder Ryan Inman seemed pinned down by the corner flag, before making the quick turn on his marker to deliver a cross inside the six-yard box. With the Tribe defenders caught off by the high hanging ball, Benonysson took advantage of the situation by sprinting in on goal and delivering the finish on a touch from his left foot.

The hosts improved on their lead early on in the second half, with the combination of senior Ilias Kosmidis and freshman Jordan Lonchar combining for the deciding goal in the 54th. Running up the field with pace, Kosmidis took advantage of a fallen Wiliam & Mary defender by slotting a through ball to connect with Lonchar’s crossing run. The freshman took his shot first time and was denied by the keeper, but cleaned up on the rebound with his first goal of 2019.

After turning the ball over in their own end, the Panthers ceded a single goal in the final 20 minutes, to allow the Tribe to get within striking distance of a draw. The HPU defense held strong in front of senior goalkeeper Keegan Myer however to keep the visitors at a single goal, nearly stretching their own lead on an off-angle opportunity for Kosmidis in the 80th.

“…To be fair we didn’t give up much, even when they had a lot of numbers forward, had possession and really backed us in,” said Haines. “We were really tough and I thought we held strong, it was just one mistake on a bad turnover that led to the goal. Other than that [William & Mary] didn’t really have any clear cut chances and we did a nice job of being resilient in our defensive third.”

Meyer finished the night with three saves, while the Panthers capitalized on two of their three shots on target through the night. Four High Point players made their career debuts in a Panther uniform, while Lonchar and fellow freshman Karson Kendall both earned the start in the 2-1 victory.

The Panthers have a quick turnaround this week, facing off with No. 21 Charlotte on the road this Monday at 7 PM. HPU is 1-0-0 against the 49ers all-time, but have not faced the program in a regular season matchup since 1976.

Comments are closed.