HPU men’s lacrosse opens SoCon slate with 11-5 win at VMI

• Senior Cole Carns, juniors Connor Robinson and Chris Young and freshman Dalton Sulver all posted two goals in the win.
• In the cage, sophomore Tim Troutner Jr. made 11 saves and picked up six ground balls.
• Sophomore Brandon Savoie posted career bests in face-off wins (9) and ground balls (5) in the victory.

LEXINGTON, Va. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team began Southern Conference play with an 11-5 triumph over VMI in Lexington, Va. on Friday night.

The Panthers (3-5, 1-0) used two separate first-half runs to build an 8-3 halftime lead they wouldn’t relinquish. On the other end, the Keydets move to 1-5 overall and fall to 0-2 in SoCon action.

“It was great to see so many different guys step up tonight,” head coach Jon Torpey said. “With the injuries we had on both sides of the ball, we decided to play some zone tonight and really try to create some opportunities off the ride. We are looking forward to getting some guys back off the IR this week so that we can continue to get back to playing HPU lacrosse.”

The Purple & White featured a balanced offensive attack as four different Panthers scored multiple goals and eight players registered at least a point. On the defensive end, HPU forced nine turnovers while sophomore Tim Troutner Jr. made 11 stops and picked up six ground balls from his goalie spot.

Leading the way, junior Connor Robinson tallied two goals to produce his fourth multi-goal outing of the year. Likewise, senior Cole Carns and junior Chris Young both notched two goals on the day.

Joining that trio, freshman Dalton Sulver recorded the first multi-point outing of his career with two goals while senior Nick Basile added a goal and an assist.

Defensively, seniors Tanner Landstra and Daniel McKenna Jr. and sophomore Griff Caligiuri all forced two VMI turnovers apiece in the victory.

At the face-off ‘X,’ sophomore Brandon Savoie set new career highs with nine face-off wins and five ground balls on the night.

Rounding out the offense, junior Peyton Garrett netted a goal and freshman Mitchel Snyder dished out an assist. Meanwhile, senior Sean Harrison (1g) and junior Jason Ashwood (1a) continued their streaks of scoring in every game this season.

Despite earning a 29-24 edge on the ground, VMI took 40 shots compared to the Panthers’ 35 attempts. Similarly, High Point was more efficient in the clear game going 19-for-19 while breaking four of the Keydets’ clearing attempts.

Carns opened the scoring with a goal at the 9:23 mark of the first quarter. Then, after VMI evened the score, Robinson, Young, Sulver and Harrison all scored over the next six minutes as the Panthers built a 5-1 advantage.

Two minutes later, the Keydets stopped the run with a goal in the final minute of the opening frame. However, HPU answered with another run as Basile scored before Carns and Young each tallied their second goals of the contest to make it 8-2 late in the second.

But again, VMI responded scoring the next two to get back to within four at 8-4 with 9:08 left in the third. Neither team scored over the next five minutes before Robinson netted his second tally and Garrett followed nine minutes later to put HPU up 10-4 with 10:48 to play.

From there, the Keydets scored again to cut the deficit to five. But HPU bounced back as Sulver became the fourth multi-goal scorer at the 2:50 mark to provide the 11-5 final score.

The Panthers return to action on Saturday, March 25 at noon to take on No. 19 Richmond in Vert Stadium.