No. 23 HPU Men’s Soccer Falls On The Road to Virginia, 2-1

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A late penalty kick gave the University of Virginia a 2-1 win over the No. 23-ranked High Point University men’s soccer team on Tuesday night in Charlottesville, Va. Senior Shawn Sloan gave the Panthers an early lead with his fifth goal of the season.

“We are very disappointed to not get anything out of this game tonight,” head coach Dustin Fonder said. “I am not saying we should have won it but I would have liked to at least get a point. They are a very good side that is well coached. It was a good hard-fought college soccer game that we unfortunately came up on the wrong end of.”

With the score tied 1-1 in the 88th minute, Virginia earned a corner kick and in the scrum that developed in the box a handball was called on the Panthers’ Shane Malcolm. The Cavaliers’ Will Bates took the kick and buried it to give UVA the late lead.

The loss is High Point’s first of the season and it drops the Panthers’ record to 10-1-1 on the season. It was HPU’s first loss since Oct. 25, 2011 against Longwood, ending an undefeated streak of 16-straight games. Virginia improves to 6-5-1 on the year with the win.

High Point took an early 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Sloan got behind the defense and scored his second goal in as many games. Sloan won a joust with a defender just outside the box and the loose ball fell to the feet of sophomore Mamadee Nyepon. The forward immediately slid a pass to Sloan who then slotted a shot past the keeper to the right side of net.

The Panthers maintained their lead until the 29th minute when UVA leveled the game on a free kick by Bates. The Cavaliers earned a free kick just outside the penalty area allowing Bates to bend a shot over the wall and into the upper 90 on the left side of goal.

Malcolm helped preserve the tie twice in the second half, saving two shots off the line on Virginia set pieces. The midfielder also had the best HPU scoring chance of the half when he got open on the right flank and forced a diving save with a low shot to the near post.

High Point returns to conference action on Saturday, Oct. 13 when it welcomes Gardner-Webb to Vert Stadium. The Bulldogs have struggled this season and are just 2-8-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the Big South. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the HPU women’s soccer game against Longwood.