Men’s Soccer: High Point Plays USC Upstate to 1-1 Tie

• High Point played its second straight draw, earning a 1-1 tie with USC Upstate
• Redshirt-sophomore Hunter Allen scored the lone goal of the match for HPU, his first career goal, which came on his first shot of the season
• The Panthers outshot the Spartans 14-8, including 6-2 in shots on net

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Redshirt-sophomore Hunter Allen scored his first career goal in the 74th minute, evening the match and sending the High Point University men’s soccer team to its second straight draw, 1-1, with USC Upstate on Saturday night at Vert Stadium.

“USC Upstate did a good job of influencing the game and making it more direct in the second half,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “I’m disappointed that we put ourselves in a hole again. We will use all of these experience and grow from them as we approach conference play next week.”

High Point (2-2-1) came out with a burst early in the game, earning a golden opportunity in the sixth minute. Redshirt-senior Yosef Teffera received the ball in the middle of the box, but sent the shot just wide of the net with the keeper rushing on him. HPU posted the first three shots in the match, holding the Spartans (2-4-1) without a shot until the 22nd minute.

Sophomore Ryan Inman and redshirt-sophomore Bana Ganidekam had solid chances of their own in the 13th and 24th minutes, respectively, but Upstate keeper Santiago Restrepo made both saves.

High Point held a 7-3 edge in shots in the first half and received the first opportunity to crack the egg in the second half when sophomore Jonathan Bolanos had his chance saved in the 50th minute. The game remained a stalemate until the 68th minute when the Spartans moved ahead on a long free kick. Jaedon Williamson sent an arcing ball from near midfield to the opposite side of the box, where Michelangelo Dividio headed it past HPU keeper Pat Fallon for a 1-0 lead.

The Panthers immediately responded with a flurry of activity and knotted the match on an eerily similar play in the 74th minute. Inman bombed a free kick from inside the midfield stripe that found Allen on the right side, where he popped it over Restrepo for the tying mark.

The defenses asserted control of the game through the rest of regulation with just one combined shot. In overtime, Inman sent a shot high in the 95th minute, which was the only shot of the first extra session. In double OT, sophomore Siggi Benonysson had a chance to finish the match in the 103rd minute, but wasn’t able to get enough on a difficult attempt from inside the box.

HPU ended the game with a 14-8 edge in shots, including 3-0 in overtime. The Panthers put six shots on net and limited Upstate to only two shots on goal.

The Panthers hit the road on Tuesday at No. 4 Wake Forest for the final game before Big South play begins next weekend. Kickoff from Winston-Salem is scheduled for 7 p.m.