ROCK HILL, S.C. – The No. 23-ranked High Point University men’s soccer team went on the road and picked up a hard-fought 2-1 win over Winthrop in Big South action on Saturday night in Rock Hill, S.C. HPU remains undefeated on the season with the win over the Eagles.
“We are very happy to leave here tonight with three points on the road,” head coach Dustin Fonder said. “Winthrop is a tough place to play and they have a good team that is well coached. I thought we created some very good scoring chances tonight but need to get more clinical with our finishing. We need to learn from this game and continue to get better.”
The Panthers improved to 10-0-1 overall and 3-0-1 in the Big South with its one-goal win over Winthrop. HPU is now 3-0-0 in road games in 2012, previously winning at both Elon and Navy. High Point is one of just seven teams that remain undefeated nationally. The loss drops Winthrop to 5-5-0 overall and 1-1-0 in the Big South.
Shawn Sloan got the Panthers on the board in the 20th minute with a free kick for his fourth score of the season. Redshirt-senior Ryan Bennett was taken down just four-yards outside the penalty area giving HPU the free kick in a dangerous position. Sloan hit a low bending shot that defelcted off a Winthrop defender and into the goal. The deflection wrong-footed the keeper who was breaking to the left post only to have the ball go in the right side of goal.
High Point picked up its second goal of the night in the 55th minute when sophomore Mamadee Nyepon got his 10th score of the season to push the lead to 2-0. Sophomore Leon Carby got the ball at the right edge of the box and made a run to the endline before cutting a pass back to Nyepon. The forward spun off a defender and curled a shot to the upper 90 to give the Panthers a two-goal margin.
Winthrop got a goal back just two minutes later when the Eagles earned a penalty kick for a handball at the edge of the box. Alex Isern took the kick for WU and beat HPU keeper Kody Palmer with a shot to the right to make the score 2-1.
The Panthers nearly gave up a game-tying goal in the 89th minute when Isern slipped a shot past an onrushing Palmer but freshman Austin Yearwood saved the game with a sliding clearance off the line to preserve the one-goal advantage.
High Point will leave conference play for its next game as it travels to Charlottesville, Va., to play Virginia out of the ACC on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two squads.