HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team improved to 2-0-0 in 2012 with a 3-1 win over Adelphi in the first round of the Flash Gordon Motors Invitational at Vert Stadium on Friday night. Senior Shane Malcolm led HPU with three points on a goal and an assist in the game.
“I am happy that we were able to pull out a win tonight against a well-coached Adelphi team,” head coach Dustin Fonder said. “I wasn’t really pleased with how we started the game but a lot of that is a credit to Adelphi. It wasn’t until the second half that we were able to play with the right intensity and urgency. I really liked the way we played in the first 25 minutes after halftime.”
Adelphi opened the game on the offensive and had High Point on its heels in the opening 15 minutes of action, putting up three shots and forcing a save by redshirt-freshman Kody Palmer.
HPU began to find the game shortly after the 15-minute mark, controlling the ball in the midfield and creating several dangerous chances. Sophomore Mamadee Nyepon earned the majority of the Panthers’ chances including a shot from 20-yards out that forced a diving save in the 28th minute.
In the 35th minute, High Point broke through when freshman Ben Burdon converted for his second goal in as many games Malcolm received the ball deep on the right flank and shed a defender with his dribble before hitting a cross into the near post. Burdon shielded his defender and took the ball out of the air with his right foot, sending his shot into the far-side netting.
High Point continued to control the game following the halftime break and in the 56th minute doubled its lead on Malcolm’s first goal of the season. Sophomore Leon Carby created the opportunity with a dazzling run up the center of the field. Carby carried the ball into the box and shook two defenders before drawing the goalkeeper and dropping the ball off to Malcolm for the empty net score.
The Panthers continued to expand the lead in the 64th minute when senior Shawn Sloan scored from 10-yards out to make the score 3-0. The midfielder secured a loose ball out of the air in the penalty area and cut back against two defenders before cracking a line drive shot past the keeper.
Adelphi managed to score a consolation goal in the 75th minute when James Diana converted from just in front of the goal mouth. The Panthers played the ball into the 6-yard box where a scrum developed before Diana pounced on the loose ball two-yards in front of goal for Adelphi’s first score of the season.
HPU finished the game with a 22-9 edge in shots taken, putting eight shots on frame. Nyepon proved a handful for the Adelphi defenders all night, registering seven shots with two on goal. Palmer made three saves in the game and improved to 2-0-0 in his first season between the pipes for the Panthers.
High Point will look to win the Flash Gordon Motors Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 2, when they face Northern Kentucky at 4 p.m. in Vert Stadium. The contest will follow the game between Radford and Adelphi. The Norse just recently transitioned to Div. I after winning the Div. II National Championship in 2010.