HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team picked up its fifth-straight win to start the season with a 2-0 victory over inter-triad rival UNC Greensboro in front of a record crowd of 2138 in Vert Stadium on Wednesday night. Sophomore Mamadee Nyepon scored his fifth goal in three games to lead HPU.
“We are very pleased to pick up a win tonight against a tough UNC Greensboro team,” head coach Dustin Fonder said. “Anytime you can get a win like this over a rival you have to feel good about it. I thought our effort was very good at time but not up to par at others. That said, we were able to grind it out in the second half and get a big win.”
After a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes that saw both teams battling to maintain possession in the midfield, the Panthers took control of the game in the 22nd minute when Nyepon connected with a shot from just inside the penalty area to put High Point ahead, 1-0. Senior Shane Malcolm started the play with a pass from the right side to Nyepon at the top of the box. The forward let the ball roll past him and spun off his defender before unleashing a shot that hit through Spartan keeper Peyton Ford’s hands and into the net.
Just two minutes later, HPU doubled its lead when senior Shawn Sloan got behind the defense and scored his second tally of the season. The midfielder pounced on a misplay by the UNCG backline and broke in on the keeper with an escort of two Panther teammates. Sloan dribbled in from the left side and hit a rocket to the far post that Ford was unable to keep out of the back of the net.
High Point keeper Kody Palmer made three saves on the night and did a good job organizing the defenders in front of him as HPU posted its third-straight shutout. The backline limited the Spartan offense to just three shots on frame and just one in the final 45 minutes. The Panthers have not allowed a goal since the 75th minute against Adelphi on Aug. 31, a scoreless streak of 285:59 minutes.
HPU’s 5-0-0 start to the season is the best in the team’s Div. I history. The Panthers are undefeated in their last 10 games stretching back to last season, having last lost to Longwood, High Point’s opponent on Saturday, on Oct. 25, 2011.
The Panthers will host the Lancers this Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. The game will mark the opening of Big South for HPU this season. Longwood is just 2-4-0 overall and 2-3-0 Big South play in its first year in the conference. With its 2-1 loss last season, High Point enters the weekend with a 4-5-1 all-time record against the Lancers.