• High Point earned its first overtime win of the season with a 1-0 victory over UNCG.
• Junior Renato Punyed scored the game-winning goal in the 99th minute.
• Redshirt senior Kody Palmer led the HPU defense with eight saves.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Junior Renato Punyard scored in the 99th minute to break a 0-0 deadlock and give the High Point University men’s soccer team a 1-0 overtime win against UNCG on Wednesday night at Vert Stadium.
“This is a huge win against a very good program in UNCG,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “We were fortunate to still be tied at halftime as I thought they came out and took it to us in the first half. We made some adjustments and were able to get a result in overtime. We have been snake bitten some this season so it was nice to be on this side of a result. It’s a credit to the guys and their character.”
The overtime win was the Panther’s first of the season and improved the HPU’s record to 2-3-2 overall. The Spartans drop to 4-2-2 with the loss, their first in overtime. High Point is unbeaten against its inter-Triad rival since 2007.
With the score all tied up at 0-0 in the first overtime period, Colscon Wiley got possession of the ball in the midfield and played a cross into the box from the left wing. A UNCG defender jumped to head the ball, but instead deflected it towards his own goal. Spartan keeper Logan Rohde managed to push the ball away to avoid an own goal, but the rebound fell to the feet of Punyad who tapped in the game-winner at the far post.
The Spartans controlled the run of play for much of the game, outshooting the Panthers 21-13 with 11 corners to just two for HPU. Redshirt senior Kody Palmer stood strong with seven saves preventing multiple close shots.
In the sixth minute, Palmer made a sliding save after a UNCG forward made a breakaway run to goal. Near the end of the first half, Palmer stopped a laser shot from inside the penalty box to prevent UNCG forward Damieon Thomas from a goal.
After being outshot by a 14-4 margin in the first half, High Point came out with more aggression following the break, putting up eight shots to UNCG’s six. Punyad nearly found a game winner in the 82nd minute with a shot from 25 yards that was saved with a diving effort by the UNCG keeper.
High Point opens Big South conference play this weekend when the team travels to Asheville, N.C. to take on the Bulldogs of UNC Asheville on Saturday, September 26th at 7 pm. The Panthers defeated the Bulldogs last year 3-0 at Vert Stadium.