HPU Men’s Soccer Beats Virginia Tech, 2-1

• High Point earned a 2-1 home win over Virginia Tech on Tuesday night.
• The Panthers got first half goals from sophomore Avery Ryan and junior Renato Punyed.
• HPU keeper Kody Palmer stopped seven shots to pick up the win.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team beat Virginia Tech by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday night at Vert Stadium. The Panthers got two first-half goals and never looked back, picking up the win over their ACC opponent.

“I thought we came out and executed great tonight,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “I have to give these young men a lot of credit; they listened and had the right approach. Virginia Tech is a very good side. I felt we were able to frustrate them and score two really good goals. This team deserves this result and I am unbelievably happy for them with everything we have been through this season.”

The win was High Point’s second in a row and it improves HPU’s record to 6-4-3 overall in 2015. The Panthers are now 5-1-1 in their last seven games after going 1-3-2 to start the season. Virginia Tech drops to .500 at 5-5-2 with the loss. HPU is now 2-0-0 at home against the Hokies.

The Panthers appeared to take the lead in the 13th minute on a goal by junior Chris Ramsell but the score was nullified by an offsides call against HPU.

Ten minutes later, High Point found the back of the net again and this time it counted as sophomore Avery Ryan scored with a tap in off a low cross from senior Adam Storm on the right. The goal was the fifth of the season for Ryan and it gave HPU the 1-0 lead.

High Point doubled its lead just seven minutes later on a 30th minute tally by junior Renato Punyed. The Panther midfielder hammered a shot into the back of the net from inside of 10 yards after a ball into the box by Ramsell was pushed away by the keeper.

Virginia Tech increased its intensity following the two High Point goals but were unable to get a ball past redshirt-senior keeper Kody Palmer who made several impressive saves to stymie the Hokie attack.

The Panthers’ two-goal advantage stood until the 75th minute when Virginia Tech received a penalty after freshman defender Rashid Tetteh fouled the Hokies’ Ricardo John just inside the penalty area. Merlin Baus took the kick from the spot and easily slotted the ball to the right.

Not long after the Tech penalty kick, High Point appeared on the verge of finding an insurance goal as Ryan found an open Ebe Kudolo in the box on a counter attack. The sophomore got the ball 15 yards from goal but his shot was stopped by the onrushing Virginia Tech keeper.

HPU was outshot 18-12 in the contest with Virginia Tech holding a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Hokies also held the edge in corner kicks with eight to the Panthers’ five. Palmer finished with seven saves for HPU while Virginia Tech’s Ben Lundgaard had one stop for Virginia Tech.

High Point returns to conference play with a road game at Radford on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. The Panthers fell to Radford at home by a score of 2-1 last season.