HPU men’s soccer drops 3-1 decision at South Carolina

• High Point fell on the road at South Carolina by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday night.
• Freshman Jon Bolanos scored his first collegiate goal in the loss.
• The Panthers outshot their opponent for the eighth time in nine games, finishing with a 20-16 advantage.

COLUMBUS, S.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team allowed three second-half goals to fall on the road at South Carolina by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday night in Columbia, S.C.

“I thought the boys did well for large spells tonight,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “This was a good college soccer game and South Carolina is a very good team. We have to eliminate mistakes that have cost us games lately. If we do that and continue to work hard our luck will change and we will be on the right side of some of these results in the future.”

The loss was High Point’s third straight and it drops the team to 5-3-1 on the season. South Carolina improved to 6-3-0 with its fifth win in a row.

The Panthers took the lead just before halftime on a 44th minute goal by freshman Jon Bolanos, his first of the season. The freshman dribbled into the box from the right side and beat the keeper with a near-post shot to put HPU up, 1-0.

South Carolina answered with a goal of its own in the 69th minute as Bjorn Gudjonsson found the back of the net off a corner kick to knot the game at a goal apiece. The Gamecocks hit a near-post corner kick that was passed on to the far post where Gudjonsson headed it in.

The Gamecocks added a second goal just two minutes later to take the lead when Danny Deakin scored from 12-yards out on a counter to put South Carolina in front, 2-1.

With High Point pressing for a game-tying goal, South Carolina added an insurance goal in the 86th minute as Gujonsson found the back of the net for the second time on the night. The forward tapped the ball in at the far post off a cross from Ianev Wallander.

The game was back and forth all night with the two sides combining for 36 shots and 14 on target. High Point finished the night with a 20-16 edge in shots and a 3-2 edge in corners, but scored on just one of seven shots on target. Redshirt-freshman Keegan Meyer was charged with the loss despite registering four saves on the night.

High Point returns home this weekend to take on Inter-triad rival Elon on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. The game is the second in an HPU soccer Pink Game doubleheader and will follow the conclusion of the women’s soccer game against Gardner-Webb. The first 100 fans will receive a High Point Pink Game t-shirt.