RICHMOND, Va. – The High Point University men’s soccer team fell to UAB by a score of 5-1 in the VCU Rams Classic on Sunday afternoon in Richmond, Va. Junior Mamadee Nyepon found the back of the net for HPU in the loss.
“We are nowhere near where we need to be as a team right now,” head coach Dustin Fonder said. “We came into today’s game with a plan and did not execute it. The game was still in the balance when we were down 2-1, but once UAB scored the third goal our resolve was very weak for the rest of the game and they took advantage.”
The Panthers started the game strong, holding possession and earning a corner kick in the fourth minute of play. UAB grabbed momentum away in the seventh minute with a goal from distance to take an early 1-0 lead. Patrick Huang took a shot from 25-yards out and tucked it into the lower left corner to put the Blazers ahead.
High Point nearly leveled the score in the 16th minutes but a header shot by freshman Matt Gweh was saved off the line by a UAB defender and a follow up shot by redshirt-sophomore Cameron Foster went just over the crossbar.
The score remained 1-0 until the 38th minute when the Blazers doubled their lead on a goal by Fredy Ruiz. The forward was played in on a through ball by Alex Clay and beat HPU keeper Ryan Massey with a shot to the lower left corner to make the score 2-0.
HPU pulled back within one early in the second half on a goal by Nyepon in the 48th minute. Sophomore Austin Yearwood delivered a cross from the left side to Nyepon who headed the ball into the bottom right corner to make the score 2-1.
The Blazers put the game away midway through the second half, scoring three goals in just six minutes to go ahead 5-1. Patrick Huang scored the first goal in the 63rd minute when he got behind the HPU backline and trapped a cross from Alex Clay before hitting a hard shot past Massey. Less than two minutes later, Ruiz picked up his second goal of the game after running onto a through ball from Diego Navarrete who then scored himself in the 69th minute with a diving header off a free kick by Moses Adeniran.
High Point continues its season-opening three-game road swing on Friday, Sept. 6 when the team travels to Columbia, S.C., to face the University of South Carolina. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.