HPU men’s soccer sets program record in 7-0 win over UNC Asheville

• High Point rolled to a 7-0 win over UNC Asheville on Saturday night at Vert Stadium.
• The Panthers’ seven goals set a new program record for goals scored against a Div. I opponent.
• Both senior Chris Ramsell and freshman Siggi Benonysson scored twice in the win for HPU.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team set a new program record for goals against a Div. I opponent in a 7-0 win over UNC Asheville on Saturday night at Vert Stadium. Both senior Chris Ramsell and freshman Siggi Benonyssonscored twice for HPU in the win.

“The boys did really well in this game tonight,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “We challenged them after the game against NC State and had three really good days of training. We have dynamic guys up top and we feel like we can get on the ball and create chances. It took us a little while to get in sync but I think we are really starting to find our form.”

High Point’s seven goals bested the team’s previous record of six goals, which the Panthers accomplished in a 6-0 win over Winthrop in 2011.

The win moves HPU to 8-3-2 overall and 2-1-1 in the Big South this season while UNC Asheville drops to 4-11-0 overall and 3-2-0 in conference games.

The Panthers didn’t wait long to pounce on Asheville, getting on the board just five minutes into the game on a goal by redshirt-freshman Bana Ganidekam, his third of the season. Freshman Connor Cesar intercepted a clearance by the Bulldog goalkeeper and found Ganidekam at the top of the box. The midfielder cut back before hitting a shot into the lower corner for a 1-0 lead.

High Point pushed the lead to 2-0 on Ramsell’s first score of the night in the 14th minute. Freshman Chad Poarch hit a shot that forced a sprawling save by the keeper and the rebound fell to Ramsell who hit his shot into the roof of the net.

Ramsell struck again six minutes later with his second goal of the night to put HPU in front, 3-0. The Panthers sprung a counter attack off an Asheville corner kick and freshmen Connor Cesar found Ramsell in space up the middle in a three-on-one break. The senior carried the ball into the box before hitting a low shot into the bottom right corner.

Two minutes later, High Point found the net once again as Siggi Benonysson scored his eighth of the season. Ramsell controlled the ball on the right wing and lofted a cross to Benonysson in the box with the Icelandic native got his head on the cross for the score.

The onslaught continued in the second half as Cesar and Benonysson combined for two goals in 73 seconds to extend the High Point lead to 6-0. The first goal came in the 63rd minute when freshman Ryan Inman whipped in a cross to Cesar who redirected it into the upper 90 from eight yards. Benonysson then scored his second of the contest in the 64th minute when he controlled the rebound of his own header shot on a breakaway and took it around the keeper before scoring on an empty net.

Junior Poli Rodriguez scored the final goal of the night for the Panthers in the 80th minute to put HPU up 7-0. A corner kick from junior Ebe Kudolo was headed out of the box to Rodriguez who took the ball out of the air with his left foot, ripping a laser into the upper 90 for his first goal of the season.

The Panthers dominated the ball throughout the contest and finished with a 25-7 advantage in shots, putting 14 on frame compared to just two for the Bulldogs.

Redshirt-freshman Keegan Meyer made two saves for HPU to earn his third shutout of the season. The keeper improves to 7-3-2 between the pipes this season.

High Point hits the road to take on Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. The game is the makeup for the contest that was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 8.